Poorest president in the world gets $1 million offer for his 1987 VW Beetle

vw_beetle_jose_mujica-

The Uruguayan president Jose Mujica says he has received a million-dollar offer to buy his blue 1987 Volkswagen Beetle, which has become a symbol of his austere lifestyle.

The man once nicknamed “the poorest president in the world” told the Uruguayan weekly Busqueda that an Arab sheik offered $1m for the humble car.

When asked about the reported offer at a news conference, Mujica, who is standing down as president, said: “That’s what they said to me, but I didn’t give it any importance.”

In an informal chat, Mexico’s ambassador to Uruguay recently suggested to Mujica that he auction the Beetle in Mexico and predicted he could get 10 four-wheel-drive trucks for it…

Mujica, a former leftist Tupamaro guerrilla leader, said that if he got $1m for the car, he would donate the money to a scheme for the homeless. If he got trucks for it, he said, they could go to Uruguay’s public health office or his campaign workers.

The president said he would gladly auction the Beetle because he has “no commitment to cars” and he joked that he did not sell it because of his dog Manuela, famous for only having three legs.

Manuela

My kind of president. Not that I ever expect to get to vote for one.

And if someone like Mujica wanted to contest for president of the United States it would have to be as an independent. Neither Establishment party would let him into a primary – and I’m not certain many Americans would vote for someone who wasn’t safely respectable.

There are times when I think we’re working hard at becoming a stuffy, small-minded nation.

Two ways Republicans screwed people who need healthcare – and they’re still at it

expanded medicaid

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act — its expansion of Medicaid to low-income people around the country — must be optional for states. But what if it had ruled differently?

More than three million people, many of them across the South, would now have health insurance through Medicaid, according to an Upshot analysis of data from Enroll America and Civis Analytics. The uninsured rate would be two percentage points lower.

Today, the odds of having health insurance are much lower for people living in Tennessee than in neighboring Kentucky, for example, and lower in Texas than in Arkansas. Sharp differences are seen outside the South, too. Maine, which didn’t expand Medicaid, has many more residents without insurance than neighboring New Hampshire. In a hypothetical world with a different Supreme Court ruling, those differences would be smoothed out.

And that was the idea behind the Affordable Care Act. Before the law passed in 2010, the country had a highly regional approach to health policy and widely disparate results in both health insurance status and measures of public health. One of the main goals of the law was to provide some national standards and reduce those inequities by using federal dollars to buy coverage for low-income people in every state.

That’s the Republicans as bitter as they were a few days ago. The conservative fops on SCOTUS, the guardians of all that reactionary politics can provide to screw working people — are taking another shot at the ACA:

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Ghost Peleton

 
In the public art performance Ghost Peloton, dancers and cyclists don LED lightsuits and hurtle through the dark in a jaw-dropping choreographed spectacle. The performance couples a night ride by LED-lit cyclists following the 2014 Tour de France route through Yorkshire, England, with illuminated dancing by performers from Phoenix Dance Theatre. The custom lightsuits worn by the participants can be controlled remotely, resulting in stunning synchronized patterns.

Ghost Peloton took place at the 2014 Yorkshire Festival, last summer, and was documented in beautiful night photography and a remarkable film. The performance is a collaboration of public art organization NVA and Phoenix Dance Theatre, in partnership with the transportation charity Sustrans.

Beautiful and creative — and great videography.

Thanks, Ursarodinia