Quick- spot the turkey:
Quick- spot the turkey:
“Fitbit” for dogs:
… The Whistle monitor (available for $99.95 here) is a stainless steel disc embedded with an accelerometer that fits onto your dog’s collar. It weighs about half an ounce. As your dog plays, walks, or sleeps, the device records his activity and sends it via your Wi-Fi connection to your phone. Using the free Whistle app, you can then watch your dog’s day unspool in a blue line that spikes when he moves around. You can even upload comments and photos, visible to as many as four other people who’ve downloaded the app. If you’re feeling competitive, pressing a button on your screen produces a rainbow of charts that compare your dog’s activity and rest levels to those of similarly sized dogs in Whistle’s database. The sensor itself needs charging every five days or so. For an extra $20, you may have it engraved…
In fact, Whistle bills itself as a kind of canine exercise mate, à la FitBit or Fuelband: When registering your dog with Whistle, you are invited to set a daily activity goal. Thereafter, a cheerful pop-up on your phone notifies you whenever that goal is met. (Sometimes, a separate congratulatory note appears when you meet the goal two or three days in a row. Whistle is very encouraging.) The daily activity goal is represented as a gray bagel that gradually fills with blue the closer you and your dog come to realizing it; it turns a gratifying shade of green when the goal is achieved. Not greenifying the bagel is very frustrating. Therefore, Whistle could conceivably motivate some users to give their dogs more exercise. (On the other hand, when Ziggy consistently failed to meet his initial benchmark of 120 minutes per day, we just scaled the goal back to 90 minutes. Good boy!)…
I’m really pleased this is getting so much attention:
A former manager at an Elkhart, Ind., Pizza Hut trying to give his employees some time off says he was firedfor refusing to open the store on Thanksgiving, local CBS affiliate WSBT is reporting.
Tony Rohr, who started out at the pizza chain as a cook before working his way up to general manager, confronted his superiors after being told the store would need to be open on Thanksgiving.
In years past, Rohr said, Pizza Hut stores have been closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, according toFox 8.
“Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two days that they’re closed in the whole year and they’re the only two days that those people are guaranteed to have off and spend it with their families,” he told WSBT.
His bosses told him to tender his resignation, but he wrote a scathing letter instead.
“I am not quitting. I do not resign, however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company,” Rohr wrote, according to WSBT. ” … I hope you realize that it’s the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible.”
The company is already seeing quite a backlash on their official Facebook page, with some commenters calling the chain “greedy” and threatening to never eat there again. The page did not respond to any of the negative comments.
One of Rohr’s bosses claimed that he quit, and being open on Thanksgiving wasn’t an individual’s decision — it was a company decision, according to WSBT
One of the things that low wage workers complain about is how chaotic their lives are due to erratic and ever-changing schedules. Constant chaos makes it really difficult to care for small children properly. Parents have to plan, hell, people have to plan if they want a life outside work, and decisions like this to open on holidays ripple out from the employee and affect whole families.
I noticed there’s a trend now among corporate honchos to advise low-level employees and others of us out here in the cheap seats on financial literacy. Have the corporate honchos considered that it might be easier for people to organize their finances if they knew ahead of time when they would be working and how much they might make in any given period, let alone planning essentials like child care, making sure they have transportation to work available, and on and on? Are we sure free lessons on “better money habits” are the only way McDonalds and Bank of America could help?
Maybe we could get a recognition that this:
I hope you realize that it’s the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible.
is true and seems to have all but disappeared from our dialogue on workers and working?
*Omnes gives us this, a list of stores that close on Thanksgiving.
Larison, addressing some hawk making the inevitable Obama-is-Chamberlain comparison on the Iran nuclear deal:
It’s tempting to dismiss this as nonsense and leave it at that, but these sorts of arguments have a way of gaining traction if they aren’t answered. If we were to take these comparisons seriously, we would have to conclude that Stephens thinks that the interim nuclear deal will lead to something worse than the annexation of the Sudetenland or the fall of South Vietnam. […]
The notion that the U.S. has “betrayed” a “small country” in this deal is contemptible. Israel wasn’t a party to these negotiations, but if it had been it would have been on the side of several more powerful countries dictating terms to the weaker one. Israel remains far more powerful in military terms than Iran, and would remain so even if Iran had a few nuclear weapons. The idea that Israel’s security has ever been seriously threatened by Iran’s nuclear program is even harder to take seriously today than it was last week now that Iran’s nuclear program is set to be under even stricter international controls than it was before. If strong-arming a country’s regional rival into making concessions on a major issue is “betrayal,” more countries would like to be “betrayed” by the U.S. in such a fashion.
More here. After years of hearing the same shit on different days, I’ve given up thinking that the Iran war-mongers will recognize the fact that Americans have no stomach for another war in the Middle East.
Last I checked, the Senate seat in Georgia isn’t a slam-dunk no-brainer for Republicans, so it’s good to see that they’re mau-mauing the strongest candidate:
Things got started yesterday with Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), who, despite being very conservative, is probably the only Republican candidate for the Georgia Senate nomination who doesn’t make a habit of selling really crazy crap. Yesterday he said he doesn’t think it’s “the responsible thing to do” to simply let Obamacare collpase. Today he was attacked at Redstate.com for having “surrendered on Obamacare.”
Josh Marshall calls that McCarthyism. I call it another day at the office for the white men in charge of the Republican Party, and I have little doubt that Jack Kingston is going to try to appease the assholes at Red State.
In the same vein, the other day I was listening to the This American Life podcast, which had the story of a very earnest young Republican student who was appointed to the Wisconsin Board of Regents. His appointment was rescinded after conservative bloggers discovered he had signed Scott Walker’s recall petition. (There was also a well-regarded Republican Wisconsin judge who lost his election because he signed.) When they interviewed the student, he said he still supports Walker because of issues like entitlement reform.
As long as the victims of these drive-bys remain party loyalists, why do they deserve the label “moderate”? They can make as many reasonable and intelligent statements as they wish, but until those mouth noises are accompanied by action, they carry the same significance as the idiotic barking of my neighbor’s permanently caged pit bull.
One more thing: if some teahadi wins the Georgia Senate primary, at least voters will face an honest choice. Jack Kingston will certainly vote like a teaturd if he reaches the Senate, so voters deserve to have a real turd on the ballot, rather than a turd camoflauged by a nice suit, a friendly smile and some happy talk.
In August, the League of Women Voters sued North Carolina on that state’s new voter suppression law:
On Monday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed the most suppressive voting law in decades. The League of Women Voters of North Carolina (LWVNC) went straight to action, filing a federal lawsuit to challenge the voting restrictions as racially discriminatory and request that the state be placed back into preclearance under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
North Carolina’s new voting law is likely a bellwether of anti-voter legislation to come in other states following the Supreme Court’s decision this past June striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. While much focus has been given to the law’s voter photo ID requirements, its voter restrictions unfortunately go much deeper.
In addition to requiring a government-issued photo ID to vote, the law:
• Shortens weekday early voting periods;
• Eliminates early voting on Sundays;
• Eliminates pre-registration for high school students;
• Eliminates same day registration during early voting.
LWVNC’s lawsuit, which was filed by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and the ACLU on behalf of LWVNC, Common Cause and the A. Philip Randolph Institute, argues that the state’s new voting law will restrict voter registration and voting opportunities for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, particularly minorities.
“North Carolina has a long and sad history of official discrimination against African Americans, including official discrimination in voting that has touched upon the right of African Americans and other people of color to register, vote, or otherwise participate in the democratic process,” LWVNC’s lawsuit argues.
Over 70 percent of African-Americans used early voting in the 2008 and 2012 general elections, compared to 52 percent of white voters. The lawsuit is just one part of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina’s vow to do everything in its power “to see that this legislation gets swept into the dustbin of history where it belongs.
This is a motion to intervene in that original League of Women Voters lawsuit, brought by young voters, yesterday (pdf). “VIVA” is the Voter Information Verification Act which is the title of the North Carolina law. Louis M. Duke is one of the young plaintiffs, which is why they are called the “Duke Plaintiffs” in the motion:
The Duke Plaintiffs, all young voters residing in and registered to vote in North Carolina, seek to intervene in this action to protect their voting rights and interests that are guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Twenty-Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Like the current plaintiffs, the Duke Plaintiffs assert that the law violates their right to equal protection as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. But as young voters, the Duke Plaintiffs bring the unique perspective of a group, not currently represented by any party to the litigation, whose voting rights are significantly impacted by VIVA…
VIVA infringes upon or outright denies the rights of young North Carolinians to vote through restrictive voter identification requirements; the curtailment of early or “one stop” voting; the elimination of same day registration; the elimination of out-of-precinct voting; the removal of the discretion of boards of election to keep polling locations open for an extra hour on Election Day; and the elimination of pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds. These drastic changes in North Carolina’s voting laws disproportionality affect young voters as compared to the general population.
Accordingly, in addition to claiming a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Duke Plaintiffs allege injury under the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits states intentionally infringing or denying “the right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote on account of age”
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
I’m the family health insurance guy as I’ve worked in the industry long enough to ocassionally have a clue. Thanksgiving is my peak family question time of the year as quite a few group insurance plans are in their open enrollment slots right now, so Sister #1 wants to know if she do an HSA or a PPO and my brother in law wants to know why his insurance company won’t let him get his elbow fixed by the same guy who took care of his favorite team’s quarterback last off season.
This year, I figure my question load will be higher, so here are my talking points and some links:
Bangor Daily News has a great column on health insurance: Health Unsurance
Health Sherpa for a good guesstimate on subsidies and policy options.