Duke Briscoe

MEMBER FOR 3 years 50 weeks

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Georgia children's wellbeing lags most states, report says

Always nice to have some hard data to think about. National leader in low birth weight babies - that sounds like it really needs some attention. Good to know that the preschool enrollment rate is relatively high - and hopefully that is doing something that will pay off for those children and their families.

posted @ Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 16:16

Oconee woman's nearly century old diary reveals days of young romance, daily tasks

Typo in fourth paragraph. Eleanor Ward (1889-1989) I think the birth year should be 1899.

posted @ Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 14:00

Dems seek gains with women in birth control loss

The Hobby Lobby's Green family owners sound too holy to be handling filthy lucre. I don't see how the Greens can sleep when they know the salary they pay is being spent on contraceptives that offend the Greens.

The health coverage is part of the employee compensation, just like salary. Let the employees choose how to use their health coverage, and let's not have different religious loopholes carved out of each business' health benefit.

The whole business of having health coverage tied to your employer really doesn't make much sense - it is more of a historical accident peculiar to America's World War II wage controls. See

posted @ Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 18:09

What Others Say: Obamacare-insured numbers overstated (The Augusta Chronicle)

@grove600: Failing to predict that you will have a rise in income is not lying.

The flip side is that people who have a fall in income will get higher credits when the yearly tax return gets filed.

posted @ Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 17:31

What Others Say: Obamacare-insured numbers overstated (The Augusta Chronicle)

[quote][b]cyou299[/b] - the usual basket of "ifs".[/quote]

When this web page was loading, this isolated phrase caught my eye and I tried to understand what this acronym meant. I thought maybe "inflammatory falsity syndrome". Then of course I realized it wasn't an acronym, although I think my acronym does fit in this case.

posted @ Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 16:35

Besecker: Learn details of 10th District candidates' positions

Why would Collins not commit to voting against raising the national debt limit? Why would we select a U.S. representative to continue to spend more of our money than is available?

Collins is demonstrating some economic knowledge I guess. Not raising the debt limit when necessary will just put the country in an even worse position by defaulting on existing debt payments and ruining the US reputation as a credit worthy country.

posted @ Friday, July 11, 2014 - 00:46

Yarbrough: 'You got the dough, we cook the numbers'

Great old Beatles song - "You got the dough, we cook the numbers" -

posted @ Monday, July 7, 2014 - 20:05

Georgia to delay action on welfare drug testing

@mike59: This is not an actual quote from Abrahmam Lincoln. See

According to Snopes site, Ronald Reagan made this mistake himself in a speech to the 1992 RNC.

"The problem with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to
determine whether or not they are genuine." -- Abraham Lincoln

posted @ Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 15:26

Court: Religious rights trump birth control rule

So Hobby Lobby is still giving employees salary which will be used to pay for these 4 particular contraceptive methods that the owners object to. In practice, I expect there to be little change in the number of uses of these methods.

Health insurance is just another form of compensation in addition to salary. The owners of these "closely held" companies could just as well have let themselves off the hook for feeling bad about their employees' choices since their employees are probably going to do pretty much the same thing anyway after the Supreme Court decision.

posted @ Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 01:15

State should allow sexual health questions on teen survey

@Logical: At least one study has concluded that the TV shows '"16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" have contributed to a reduction in teen pregnancy.

posted @ Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 00:33

Georgia officials nix sex questions on teen survey

Those HIV numbers for GA are awful. What a poor choice to not take the federal funding for HIV/STD education just because of a few anonymous questions.

posted @ Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 00:12

Echols: New carbon rule is administrative overreach

@commissionerechols: Thank you for replying to the comments here. However, I see no logical reason to tie the issues of nuclear waste disposal and the EPA CO2 regulations. The problem with the nuclear waste is that no one wants to take it, so that is going to be pretty slow to solve. Maybe we will eventually get to open a waste depository out west, or some new technology will help. But the CO2 issue needs to get started on now. Global warming is like a massive rolling boulder that is going to take a long time to slow down and stop, and we have been not doing much about it for too long.

posted @ Monday, June 16, 2014 - 12:42

Obama says climate change deniers ignoring science

[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - Earth has been much warmer that now, the Sahara and Kansas were once seas, the Arctic was once a tropical forest. [/quote]

The problem with global warming as far as damage to ecosystems, extinction of species, the cost of human adaptation and social instability, has a lot to do with rate of change - industrial era CO2 causing a fast change.

You make some reasonable questions about accuracy of measurements, but I don't think that is a mainstream consensus view of professional climate scientists. I think the measurements of the actual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere to 400 ppm (as compared to 320 ppm back in 1960) are less subject to measurement error. And the basic physical properties of CO2 trapping heat via the greenhouse effect are indisputable. There is also the problem of CO2 causing ocean acidification.

You might be right about some other natural variations taking place, but time will tell. I wish you were right but in my opinion the reasonable evaluation of the evidence is that the overwhelming consensus of professional climate scientists is valid and there is a real global warming problem for people and most other species on Earth.

posted @ Sunday, June 15, 2014 - 16:18

Obama says climate change deniers ignoring science

Global Temperatures
The year 2013 tied with 2003 as the fourth warmest year globally since records began in 1880. The annually-averaged temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average and marks the 37th consecutive year (since 1976) that the annual temperature was above the long-term average. Currently, the warmest year on record is 2010, which was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above average. To date, including 2013, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occured during the 21st century. Only one year during the 20th century—1998—was warmer than 2013. The global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.06°C (0.11°F) per decade since 1880 and at an average rate of 0.16°C (0.28°F) per decade since 1970.

So for the last 17 years we have paused at record high temperatures, but we may be returning to the increase in new global surface temperature records. See

posted @ Sunday, June 15, 2014 - 13:21

Modified Cold War icon now spies on the weather

Wikipedia says the chase car is driven faster than 120 mph to assist on the landing.

posted @ Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 14:47

Study: Teens are drinking less, texting more

One out of 12 teens attempted suicide in the past year??!!!!

posted @ Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 23:06

Are all comments on ABH articles now disabled ?

Yes, the comments were not showing up over the weekend, but I see some showing up now.

posted @ Monday, June 9, 2014 - 13:52

I had a comment posted on Thursday night at 7:48 PM, but you might be right. I've noticed that I have gotten several email notifications about people that I follow making comments, but then the links given to the comments are not working to show me the article they are commenting on.

posted @ Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 15:27

Ambrose: New carbon rule won't improve environment

There are some signs China will make similar changes.

posted @ Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 19:48

Volume of encrypted email rising amid spying fears

"Google automatically encrypts all email, but that doesn't ensure confidentiality unless the recipients' email provider also adopts the technology."

I think this just means that the ISP mail servers are communicating using SSL, but Google and the ISPs (and their employees and any connected NSA people) can still read your mail. You and your recipients need to do your own encryption to hide messages from everyone (assuming your computer does not have a key logger or other security hole). But for most purposes and levels of paranoia, if you don't have a compromised computer that you are reading your mail on, the mail server encryption means that random listeners on the Internet cannot intercept and read your messages.

posted @ Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 18:28

New allergy tablets offer alternative to shots

@Used2baFreeCountry: It was to protect the ozone layer, not a global warming issue.

posted @ Monday, June 2, 2014 - 23:58

Athens clinic sees boost in patients despite promise of ACA

If Georgia had been more supportive in terms of having "navigators" to advise people on picking plans, then people might be happier with what they have chosen. They will have the opportunity to pick again next year. The problem is whether or not the private insurance companies are offering plans with broader networks of doctors and hospitals - I think next year there will be more focus on this problem of narrow networks. And ultimately, the insurance rates are derived from the cost of healthcare - which is influenced by the supply of new doctors, competitive hospitals rather than dominant hospitals which can extract lots of money from patients (and pay high hospital executive salaries), and negotiations for pharmaceuticals.

posted @ Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 18:42

VA approves more private care for veterans

There can be problems with delays of treatment when searching for new private care also, unfortunately. I wish there was more talk of increasing the number of doctors, nurses, and other medical workers. Also making the workers more productive by reducing or simplifying all the bureaucratic hassles related to billing - but at the same time there has to be guards against fraud in billing. We should really take a closer look at what other countries are doing, since they have comparable care for half what we are paying. We have too many executives trying to squeeze money out of American health care - even if a hospital is nominally non-profit.

posted @ Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 16:24

Police commissioner resigns in wake of Obama slur

@jtsim: He was elected so there was no way to fire him. I also think that there was no legal provision to impeach him or remove him from office.

posted @ Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 01:54

What Others Say: Raise federal gas tax to improve transportation infrastructure

[quote][b]sweept[/b] - guess we will have to agree to disagree[/quote]

Your point about the "pandering and cheating" made me rethink things a bit. Government probably has a role in funding early research that won't be privately funded because of riskiness or difficulty in locking up intellectual property, but that should be relatively small amounts of money. For an example, like what you pointed out, I think the ethanol subsidies have not really been worthwhile, but it has been a political matter related to campaign contributions that keeps those corn subsidies going.

Another thing to think about is US domestic industries competing with global industries that are getting their own countries' subsidies. For instance, I think China put a lot of money into developing their solar cell industry and other such green technologies, and their low prices were a factor in the collapse of some companies in the US. If China is the first to get their industry to some cost efficient scale, then they can overshadow the development of a US based industry. If the Chinese industry is meeting most of global demand, then there would not be a payoff to invest a lot of capital to develop a US industry that would glut the global market. That is a complex problem for US government to deal with - the international trade situation with other countries supporting various industries in various ways.

posted @ Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 15:21

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  • Andrew

    Blog: Can we please fix the Oscars?

    Summary:  Fun facts: The first-ever Oscar ceremony, held in 1929, ran a brisk 15 minutes. By contrast, the longest was in 2002, clocking in at a monstrous 4 hours and change. As usual, there are things I loved about it and things I didn't. Rather than be snarky or complain, I'll offer a few suggestions on how the organizers might bring the show into the 21st century. Fun facts: The first-ever Oscar ceremony, held in 1929, ran a brisk 15 minutes. By contrast, the longest was in 2002, clocking in at a monstrous 4 hours and change. As usual, there are things I loved about it and things I didn't. Rather than be snarky or complain, I'll offer a few suggestions on how the organizers might bring the show into the 21st century. First, a few thoughts on the winners: read more

  • Joe

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