Each year, about one million infants around the world die on the same day they're born. That figure includes about 11,300 U.S. babies - the highest first-day infant mortality rate of any other country in the industrialized world, according to a new report from Save the Children. In fact, the United States' rate of first-day infant death is 50 percent more than all the other industrialized countries in the report combined.
Many babies who die at birth were born too early, and others suffer infections or complications at birth. Many of those infants could be actually be saved with fairly cheap medical interventions, the advocacy group says. The first day of life is the most dangerous day for mothers and babies, but expanding access to several products that cost under $6 each - bag-and-mask devices to help babies breathe, antiseptic to prevent umbilical cord infections, antibiotics to treat infections, and steroids to delay pre-term labor - could help save an estimated one million infants around the world.
Rep. Mike Coffman announced last week that he's joining "No Labels' Problem Solvers -- a group of 56 Democrats and Republicans committed to meeting regularly across the aisle to build trust and talk about solving problems."
Some labels, like the label of "citizen" for Obama, have bugged Coffman in the past.
Reporting on town a hall meeting in Aurora on Sunday, The Denver Post's Nic Turiciano did a nice job focusing on what's emerged as the central issue in the immigration debate: whether to grant a path to citizenship to the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States.
Turiciano reported that Rep. Jared Polis supports a path to citizenship, with or without beefed up border security, Sen. Michael Bennet said he wants border security and a "real pathway," and Rep. Mike Coffman said he supports offering citizenship path to children brought to the U.S. illegally, but is still mulling over what to do about the adults.
After voting as recently as 2010 against citizenship for the so-called dreamers, who are children brought to America illegally by their parents, Coffman has now proposed legislation that would grant citizenship to them after they complete basic training for U.S. military duty (not for going to college).
If all the eligible undocumented young people took Coffman up on his proposal, he'd be looking at 1.4 million new recruits, potentially swamping the U.S. military, which currently has about 1.5 million active-duty personnel. So, how does Coffman's proposal work, logistically?
But even if Coffman comes up with viable path to citizenship, and let's hope it's a highway, for undocumented young people, he's still got to deal with the 9.5 million adults whose citizenship fate he's mulling over.
Right now, Coffman is ready to give these 9.5 million people legal status, which essentially means he's giving them the right to taxation without representation. (So you'd hope, that the Tea Party would be dumping their mini-Constitutions all over Coffman's door matt.)
That's the next layer of reporting that's needed on the immigration beat. What does America look like with an underclass of 9.5 million?
It's not apartheid, to be sure, or Jim Crow. It's not straight-up slavery or indentured servitude. It's kind of like the relationship between South Africa and the country of Lesotho post-apartheid, when the Lesotho miners would go to South Africa to live and work. But the closest model might, ironically enough, be the colonists, though it's an imperfect fit.
In any case, what does a guy like Coffman have in mind? How would it work? What rights and responsibilities of citizenship would be granted? And what rights (voting?) and responsibilities (military service? taxes?) would be denied?
The picture of millions of "legal" immigrants with no voting rights gets ugly, doesn't it, when you start thinking about it in the context of those pesky American values, like democracy.
Or maybe not? Maybe this is what American opportunity looks like to Coffman (and Tipton, Gardner, and Lamborn, all of whom oppose the path to citizenship). Maybe legal status is sufficient.
If so, fair enough. But let's hear about their vision of what America looks like with an entire class of pseudo-citizens who are fundamentally unequal to the rest of "us."
Congress has a lot on its plate these days. Immigration reform and gun control have taken center stage in the Senate, and House Republican leaders are ramping up their calls for a balanced budget. But the one issue that Americans routinely say matters the most appears to have taken a back seat: jobs.
Gone are the days of party leaders demanding action on "jobs, jobs, jobs." When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently outlined the top 10 priority bills for the year, just two of them were directly related to job creation. (A third one has jobs in the title, but the "Agriculture Jobs Bill" is actually just the farm bill).
House GOP leaders, meanwhile, emerged from their annual party retreat last month with their members fired up about one issue: their "No Budget, No Pay" proposal, which would temporarily withhold lawmakers' pay if they don't pass a budget.
Young graduates are in debt, out of work and on their parents' couches. People in their 30s and 40s can't afford to buy homes or have children. Retirees are earning near-zero interest on their savings.
In the current listless economy, every generation has a claim to having been most injured. But the Labor Department's latest jobs snapshot and other recent data reports present a strong case for crowning baby boomers as the greatest victims of the recession and its grim aftermath.
These Americans in their 50s and early 60s - those near retirement age who do not yet have access to Medicare and Social Security - have lost the most earnings power of any age group, with their household incomes 10 percent below what they made when the recovery began three years ago, according to Sentier Research, a data analysis company.
Their retirement savings and home values fell sharply at the worst possible time: just before they needed to cash out. They are supporting both aged parents and unemployed young-adult children, earning them the inauspicious nickname "Generation Squeeze."
Romanoff, who famously waited several months to announce a primary challenge to Sen. Michael Bennet that was ultimately successful, became the first official challenger to Coffman, who is ranked as one of the top 10 most vulnerable members of Congress.
Romanoff, who famously waited several months to announce a primary challenge to Sen. Michael Bennet that was ultimately unsuccessful, became the first official challenger to Coffman, who is ranked as one of the top 10 most vulnerable members of Congress.
Of course, Romanoff was unsuccessful in reality, and for anyone who wanted a populist with a reliable voter base and a history of accomplishments for the senate seat that was cherry-given to Bennet by our half-successful previous Democrat Governor Bill Ritter.
Ever since Republicans were clobbered at the polls in 2004, giving Democrats control of both houses of the legislature for the first time in 44 years, it has been clear the GOP is out of step with much of Colorado. That drubbing was no small feat since there were more registered Republicans in the state in 2004 than either unaffiliateds or Democrats.
...conveniently forgetting many unaffiliated voters actually thought Bush the Lesser wasn't conservative enough.
We hope the apparent softening on this tuition issue will be followed by similar action on the civil unions bill, killed by Republicans last year, and a more middle-of-the-road GOP in general.
In short, it would be good for Colorado to have diversified representation that reflects the broad middle of Colorado sentiment, not its far left and right.
The truth is that the far-right in Colorado is firmly placed in office by an electorate that believes it has succeeded only because of its unique determination and Galtian view on life. They hate government and want people in office who also hate it and work fervently to make sure it doesn't work.
The far-left can only dream of having a few office holders who actually represent their views.
I think both sides can agree: that'll never be how the Denver Post sees it.
Tax Code Termination Act - Terminates the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 after December 31, 2017, except for self-employment taxes, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, and railroad retirement taxes.
Requires a two-thirds majority vote in Congress to change such termination date.
In addition to cutting off about 60 percent of federal revenues, the bill includes an unconstitutional provision providing that the end of the tax code cannot be delayed except by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress. The Constitution does not permit a past Congress to tie the hands of a future Congress, so this provision making it functionally impossible for future congresses to delay the end of most federal revenue is unconstitutional.
The introduction of this bill shows that Republicans could not care less what voters said - and post-election polls confirm - about the policies our nation should be implementing the next 4 years. This bill shows the political radicalism of someone drunk on tea, and it shows the monumental ignorance of people who claim to love the Constitution while undermining it by the day.
Most Republicans - 179 in all - opposed the final package, an outcome that would have once been unthinkable in the GOP-led chamber. But it was the second vote in recent weeks to pass with a majority of Democratic votes.
A majority of Republicans also supported a failed amendment that would have offset a large chunk of the spending with other budget cuts.
The Denver Post will probably proclaim the Great Bipartisan Victory that this bill is, while ignoring the hateful hypocrisy of Colorado's small-minded, survivalist Republicans who represent their constituents all too well.
He had moved off his initial demands for revenue (once $1.6 trillion, now $1.2 trillion), agreed to entitlement reforms (reduced Social Security benefits) and already signed hefty spending cuts ($1 trillion as part of the Budget Control Act in 2011). For all that, he added, he was still waiting for Republicans to come closer to halfway.
Republicans don't want Billionaires to pay more taxes on anything over $250,000, even though they'll get that same cut on anything under $250,000, as though a Billionaire gives one hoot about that kind of chump change.
And that's the principle that Doug Lamborn, Scott Tipton, Cory Gardner and Mike "My health care works" Coffman are standing for.
According to House Republican leadership aides, House GOP leaders have not yet called their members back to Washington D.C., and WILL NOT be in session tomorrow for legislative business. According to one GOP aide, "It's up to Senate Democrats to act right now."
During the House Republican conference meeting late Thursday night, leadership told the conference that they would be given 48 hours before being called back to D.C. after Christmas. According to aides, leadership has not given that notice yet.
Actually, Senate Dems have passed tax cuts for 99%+ of Americans that the House under the direction of Speaker Boehner has sat on.
"I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American."
He later explained away this disgusting, quasi-racist, full-on-ignorant bullshit with the reasons why America is exceptional and should set the rules rather than follow them:
"I don't believe the president shares my belief in American Exceptionalism. His policies reflect a philosophy that America is but one nation among many equals.
So let's just take Coffman as his word: he's Christian, he believes we're No. 1! even when we're not, and he always expects the best from and for each and every American.
Both Michael Moore, whom Coffman surely hates, and David Koch, who is a conservative icon praised by everyone on the Right, both made their values knows over these few days in which we desire peace on earth.
Taking part in a national day of protest asking lawmakers to prioritize the "middle class over millionaires," small business owners, joined by veterans and others, called on Rep. Mike Coffman Saturday to end tax cuts for the top 2 percent of income earners.
Standing in front of Flava, an Aurora restaurant, the crowd of about 50 people held signs and called on Coffman tell his fellow Republicans to stop holding the middle class hostage to tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
Activists at the event, organized by Colorado Fair Share, Protect Your Care, and others, said tax cuts for the wealthy means fewer Pell Grants, fewer Head Start programs and more crowded classrooms.
"Representative Coffman should not hold out for tax cuts for the richest among us," said Aurora real estate agent Jeanne May, an Aurora real estate agent and member of Colorado Fair Share. " He needs vote for middle class tax cuts people like me not tax breaks for millionaires who don't need them."
I didn't know which CD I was in until my ballot told me. Had re-registered recently to test 1) how the parties would react to a "new" independent voter (Sheesh, the Post didn't even call me for their Super-Duper Undecided Voter Confab and EEG test), and 2) how our Super-Awesome, Freedom-Defending, Election-Saving, Idiot-Savant Secretary of State would do.
The Parties get a "C": Mailers didn't start 'til late and I had no idea which CD I was in despite various searches, though the idea of being "represented" by Mike Coffman was always in the back of my mind.
The SecState gets a "B": I was allowed to vote despite all the incredible bullshit this guy created, but was duly unimpressed by the faux-official voting volunteer who confirmed that I am truly, despite some conflicting evidence, me.
The Koch Brothers Profit and Lie Machine gets a "D" pending outcome of the election: I sure am glad they wasted their money sending me lie-filled mailers of every type.
President Obama wants to "criminalize" free speech, according to a leading GOP congressmen.
Trent Franks (R-AZ) (Dang, I was going to guess Texas - Z) discussed the President's response after an anti-Muslim video provoked widespread riots in Libya and elsewhere, telling radio host Mike Huckabee that Obama "has a general trend of subordinating the constitutional rights." Obama had released a statement the morning after the violence that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens saying, "While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants."
Both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaffirmed the importance of free speech in their responses to the violence.
Franks went on to argue that Obama is taking aim at the First Amendment: "I really believe that this administration is moving towards being willing to criminalize certain things that we hold as free speech in America."
FRANKS: I believe that there is ubiquitous evidence that this administration has a general trend of subordinating the constitutional rights that we hold very dearly as Americans to placate sometimes our enemies who have nothing but derision toward us, and I'm convinced that it is playing out even in the events of recent days. I really believe that this administration is moving towards being willing to criminalize certain things that we hold as free speech in America. [...] When we begin to say that we're going to potentially criminalize people criticizing a religion, then we are stepping away from the First Amendment and one of the foundations that made America the greatest country in the world.
First, I don't think ubiquitous means what this guy thinks it means. Maybe he's just proud he can pronounce it. Second, criticizing Islam is okey-dokee with these guys, so there goes that point. Third, it would actually have to be the morons in congress who pass a law against free speech, and the politicians on the Supreme Court to uphold it.
Both are now firmly in the grasp of Republicans like Trent Franks.
I may have to start grading these this, this was hardly an impressive lie.
"Like the pro-slavery forces who invaded Kansas, the pro-abortion forces in Washington and elsewhere want us to believe that abortion is not murder -- that being born is worse than death, that the unborn baby is property, not a person.
"I am incensed that this president pays money to an entity that was created for the sole purpose of killing children that look like mine -- a racist organization, and it continues specifically to target minorities for abortion destruction. Shame on this president and shame on that party."
The number of lies in that thing is hard to count. The amount of stupidity might be able to be measured.
The source is as usual: An Elected Republican pandering to its Tea Party base.
Republicans seem to be either exposing the depths of their own stupidity or testing the limits of voters' gullibility each and every day. (Google "louie gomert" or "rand paul schooled" if you're not sure.)
Either way they just keep espousing more outrageous ideas as November's election gets nearer.
When I meet with young people, who are just out of college, attending these fairs, I always ask them what they majored in. Far too often, it is a four-year degree that doesn't give them the technical skills that directly leads them to employment.
Now, they not only can't find a job from their four-year degree, but often burdened with debt from their student loans.
I think it is time to question whether a significant number of the majors taught at undergraduate institutions are a good investment.
This relates to the taxpayers, who subsidize the cost of higher education by either bearing part of the cost at public institutions, or by subsidizing loan programs at private ones.
Graduates, with liberal arts degrees, often find entry level jobs that are little better than what they would have gotten had they never attended college in the first place.
ColoradoPols points out some truth regarding liberal arts degrees:
"There has been data to suggest that even though liberal arts graduates in an entry-level position tend to earn less than their counterparts who have very career-focused [degrees], within 10 to 20 years they tend to outpace their counterparts in terms of income," she says.
The holy grail of higher income should have been enough to shut Coffman up about the value of a well-rounded education and the critical need for a modern economy to invest in its citizens workers. Part of America's exceptionalism is the fact that educating its people was a fundamental principle held by most of our Founders. And this is a guy who complained President Obama didn't understand that very principle.
Maybe he skipped class that day.
But I don't think Coffman's goal was to question a liberal arts degree or the value of higher education. His bottom line, in line with modern Republican dogma, is that the government shouldn't educate its citizens to the highest standards of learning, even though that idea is key to our prosperity and a founding principle of our republic.
Coffman's unspoken point was that education should privatized, charterized, profitized, and left to the vagaries of the free market. If someone so happened to end up educated it was because they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps with a philisophical "huzzah" from Ayn Rand. And if they don't have an education, so be it and why should we care?
I can hardly think of a more selfish, self-centered and ignorant congressman from Colorado than Mike Coffman. It's quite obvious a liberal arts education would have done him much good. If he had one, we'd be represented by someone with a little more smarts in their head, concern for the common welfare of his fellow citizens, and committed to educating all Americans to be the best thinkers and doers in the world.
Inside the control room of the Eisenhower Tunnel, dozens of employees monitor more than thirty large screens, keeping watch on a throughway that, since its historic construction in 1973, has allowed hundreds of millions of cars to drive straight across the Continental Divide.
At 11,155 feet above sea level, the 1.7-mile tunnel is the highest of its kind in the world - something that drivers notice right away as they chug uphill on either side or crunch their brakes on the way down.
"It's a critical link from the east slope to the west slope, and has made huge differences for people in the way that they can access recreation and all that the mountains have to offer," says Mike Salamon, who has worked as a superintendent at the tunnel, sixty miles west of Denver, for 35 years.
The numbers prove it.
Since March 1973 through July 2012, exactly 304,794,917 vehicles have passed through the tunnel, and the rate is twice today what it was thirty years ago. On average, more than ten million cars pass through each year, or an average of 30,000 a day (sometimes it seems like they're all there at once). And although ski-season traffic gets the most attention because of traffic jams and bad weather, usage is usually highest in the summer.
Plans for a tunnel under the Continental Divide date back to the 1860s, but it wasn't until a century later, in 1968, that the technology and funding was created to make construction possible.
The $116.9 million effort, which began that year, employed thousands of people who worked 24 hours a day, six days a week. When it was done, people no longer had to take the twisting 9.5-mile route along U.S. 6 over the 11,992-foot-high Loveland Pass, but could use the new I-70 instead.
A project that calls for a 120-mile, high-speed transit system to be built on Interstate 70 between Jefferson County and the Eagle County Airport is certain to attract top thinkers - and the biggest dreamers - both foreign and domestic.
That includes Texas businessman Robert Pulliam, who doesn't believe high-speed rail will solve the traffic woes along the corridor.
A rail line is a key part of a Colorado Department of Transportation package of transportation solutions for I-70, which, if implemented, could cost more than $10 billion.
[T]he Glenwood Canyon project, completed in the 1970s, is a template for the type of original thinking that a tubular rail system could bring to the I-70 mountain corridor.
I agree with Nike: Just Do It. The economic and social benefits will far outweigh the costs, no matter what the naysayers say....
Now if he can get Mitt to ask for the President's Occidental College transcripts we'd be able to find out if Barack was a Mosslomen Foreigner, or was anything less than a Straight-A student.
UPDATE: Here's the President's response to this racist dog-whistle:
"Throughout this campaign, Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them. It's one thing to give the stage in Tampa to Donald Trump (Birther), Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Birther), and Kris Kobach (I don't know who this Asshole is, in any case we've got Boyles.)
But Governor Romney's decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across merica."
Hey, at least Romney enlisted in something. Neither he nor his 5 Strapping Sons ever saw fit to enlisted in our armed forces. And Mike Coffman, our wonderful, patriotic, veteran congressman, might, or might not, approve....I don't know. Someone should ask him: