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The Congressional Budget Office announced that a proposed plan to control health-care spending would save only $2 billion over ten years, compared to a proposed $1 trillion in spending, although the agency also pointed out that the legislation could increase the proportion of people receiving insurance through their employers, despite Republican claims to the contrary. Democrats, with control of both the House and Senate, fought among themselves. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman threatened to move the bill to the floor without a committee vote if the Blue Dogs, seven conservative Democrats, refused to cooperate; Nancy Pelosi vowed that the bill would pass without them. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid simply caved to Republican pressure and announced that there would be no vote on a new health-care bill until after the August recess.PoliticoThe New York TimesTalking Points MemoCBS NewsTalking Points MemoG.O.P. Chairman Michael Steele gave a speech at the National Press Club, reciting a Republican memo verbatim. “Slow down, Mr. President,” said the memo and Steele, even though health-care reform has been a national issue since 1912. “We can’t afford to get health care wrong.” BnetWashington PostA two-year federal corruption investigation resulted in the arrest of 44 New Jerseyites including three mayors, two state assemblymen, and five rabbis. “This is so massive,” said political scientist Joseph Marbach, “It’s going to just reinforce the stereotype of New Jersey politics and corruption.”New York TimesNew York TimesNew York TimesThree Ohio adults were charged with child endangerment for allowing rats in their mobile home to chew off the toes of a six-week-old baby girl. New York Post
It was National Poker Week.NewsweekHenry Louis Gates Jr., an African-American professor at Harvard, was arrested by Jim Crowley, a white police sergeant, in his Cambridge, Massachusetts home after a passerby saw Gates forcing open his own front door. President Barack Obama said the police had “acted stupidly,” and Sergeant Crowley announced that he had once tried to save the life of (black) Celtics star Reggie Lewis. Neither Obama nor Crowley would apologize, though Obama said that he, Gates, and Crowley may get together at the White House for a beer. Obama did apologize for wearing “dad jeans.” “For people who want a president to look great in tight jeans,” he said, “I’m sorry.”Washington PostNew York PostChoreographer Merce Cunningham died. “It gives you nothing back,” Cunningham said of dancing. “No manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold. Nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”New York TimesAdam Yauch of the Beastie Boys announced that he has cancer. “It’s a pain in the ass,” he said.Sky NewsBoise’s ombudsman issued a report concluding that the city officer who tasered a man’s buttocks used excessive force,Idaho Statesmanand an Albany, New York, man who received an unwanted colonoscopy was awarded $125,000 in compensation for an incident in which doctors, at the request of police, forcibly sedated him, searched his rectum for drugs, then sent him a bill for $6,792 and a diagnosis of hemorrhoids.Times UnionNASA said that something had probably smashed into Jupiter and left an Earth-sized hole, confirming the discovery that an Australian amateur made with a telescope in his backyard. New York TimesAn earthquake shifted New Zealand one foot closer to Australia.Ananova
Large areas of India and China were plunged into darkness for nearly 7 minutes during the century’s longest total eclipse of the sun. Pregnant women were advised to stay home for fear that the eclipse would harm their unborn babies; tens of thousands waded into the Ganges, because it is auspicious to watch an eclipse while immersed in sacred waters.Boston GlobeNew York TimesNew York TimesBBCJohn Berry, the businessman who popularized WD-40, died,Los Angeles Timesand more than seven 55-gallon drums of gooey oil blobs were removed from Texas beaches.New York TimesThe Taco Bell chihuahua died of a stroke.PeopleRescuers searching a Michigan home found 110 live dogs (and 150 in freezers),WFTVand officials in South Korea deployed the world’s first cloned sniffer labrador retrievers.BBCA five-legged puppy was rescued from a Coney Island freak show after a woman paid $4,000 to outbid sideshow owner John Strong, who had intended to include the puppy in his “Freaks of Nature” show. “Sometimes,” said a rueful Strong, “you just gotta say, ‘OK, I still have nine live two-headed animals’, and move on.”NBC New York NewsA Chinese couple got married wearing a coat of 1,000 living honeybees. Ananova
More from Claire Gutierrez:
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith