Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Via JMG: Obama Jokes On Daily Show: I'm Issuing Executive Order That Stewart Must Stay

The Guardian reports:
Barack Obama mocked foes, talked up his legacy and teased Jon Stewart in a nostalgic final appearance as president on The Daily Show, providing a bittersweet farewell for the old sparring partners. “I can’t believe you’re leaving before me,” Obama told his host, who is due to retire in two weeks after 16 years in the Comedy Central hot seat. “I’m going to issue an executive order: Jon Stewart cannot leave the show. It’s being challenged in the courts.”

The two men bantered on Tuesday night’s show over Iran, Donald Trump, lost opportunities and the “Hope” posters – gentle jabs rather than blows that yielded a fond, affectionate coda to the satirical news show’s prickly relationship with the president. Obama joked that critics of the Iran nuclear deal seemed to think that “if you had brought Dick Cheney to the negotiations everything would be fine”.

Stewart, who reflected liberals’ initial euphoria and later disappointment with the Obama era, noted his guest’s recent run of victories: “It appears that you’re feeling it a little bit right now. Do you feel like seven years in …” “I know what I’m doing,” Obama interrupted. “A lot of the work that we did early starts bearing fruit late. The way I’m feeling right now is, I’ve got 18 months.” He vowed to tackle climate change and fuel-efficiency standards before leaving.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: STUDY: HIV Transmission Is Virtually Zero For Patients "Reliably" Taking Their Meds

Via the Charlotte News & Observer:
Groundbreaking research conducted at UNC-Chapel Hill has demonstrated that potent drug cocktails can disable HIV to the point that the deadly virus can’t be transmitted to other people through sexual activity. The findings were announced Monday by AIDS researcher Myron Cohen at the eigth International AIDS Society Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Cohen, UNC’s chief of the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases, has headed the global research project for a decade and studied more than 1,700 couples.

The landmark study, financed with more than $100 million in federal research grants, confirmed initial results reported in 2011 and demonstrated that AIDS medications known as antiretroviral therapy, or ART, can suppress the virus for years. The virus can reemerge if the patient stops taking the medicine, but as long as it’s suppressed, the virus essentially is harmless and most patients can lead normal, healthy lives. “If people are taking their pills reliably and they’re taking them for some period of time, the probability of transmission in this study is actually zero,” Cohen said by phone from Vancouver. “Let me say it another way: We never saw a case of HIV transmission in a person who is stably suppressed on ART.”
The researchers stressed that they are not advocating unprotected sex for those taking anti-retrovirals.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

The Muppets - First Look Presentation

Today's Daily Dharma: Not Always So

Not Always So
Once we notice the preconceptions that we are carrying around with us, then it is possible for us to let them go and say, "Well, maybe so, maybe not." Suzuki Roshi once said, "The essence of Zen is "Not always so."Not always so. It's a good little phrase to carry around when you're sure. It gives you an opportunity to look again more carefully and see what other possibilities there might be in the situation.
- Zenkei Blanche Hartman, "The Zen of Not Knowing"