Plastic Surgery For Improving Quality of Life

Since the technology has raised the individuals has tons of choices for reconstructing medical procedures and getting operative treatment which encompasses both aesthetic. Among the most significant is plastic surgery. It’s understood among us. All of us understand it is as difficult as we speak to get it done but not too hard as well if you’ve consulted with skilled medical professional. Many people consider that it can alter the manner of the lifestyle and appears although we’ve mixed views on this but.

I’d like to tell you that there are numerous kinds of the type of operation. The patient typically getting through operation for enhance function like some physical aspects which need operation and remove blemishes by arrival. All these systems also price too and includes its particular operation and time.  It is known by us more generally with weight loss surgery. It’s simple medical procedures which restricts the amount of meals you are able to take in. Some of the functions of it additionally control the amount of meals you’ll be able to process. A lot of people that have the medical procedures lose body weight quick.

An unbelievable quantity of females have enhanced experienced with saline and plastic progress. Females love the advantages of the experience now. Self-image may enhance, increase self-confidence and make greater private easiness in swimsuits and ensembles. Well essentially the term Tummy Tuck is associated with stomach fat and extra skin. Many of individuals looking to remove the stomach fat and are essentially having an issue of obesity. Lack of skin flexibility in elderly individuals, which often occurs with minor being overweight, may also be improved.

Facial treatments operation may be obtained by individuals as a result of raise their attractiveness or because of some harm on the face. The technology has increased very in compare and so there are tons of choices in issue with attractiveness and your health at the same time. It’s crucial to keep a healthful skin treatment strategy deal with the harmful effects of the outdoor surroundings and to wait the wrinkles. Additionally there are tons of kinds of facial treatment operation at the same time.

Nose Operation – The nose is the fundamental organ of the body to make your appearance remarkable as it plays critical part. Surgeons performing this operation have a choice between two kinds of incision techniques. A process that was shut is done inside the nose, typically with cuts. Many well-known star having fascinating character with it and in addition has gone by means of this type of operation.

This really is in getting healing like cosmetic surgery which need some period of time. So there’s nothing to stress should you be looking to get some of the preceding additionally it takes or more for closing look out. This can be the truth that with this operation really more joyful, assured and simple life can be lived by a person. So eventually it’s significant measure to take if this kind of operation is being considered by you, you also acquire some guidance on hazard and other chances ahead of getting it done and must consult with a physician like Dr. Sawan who specializes in plastic surgery processes.

Dentist Visits are An Essential Part of Health

Going to the dentist isn’t anyone’s favorite action to take, but it prevents cash prices and greater time afterwards. There’s much that can be done to ensure your visit goes easily.
Although it isn’t something which is simple to fit into tight budgets and frenzied schedules preventative dentistry can save money and time later on. By following several simple magic tricks and hints it’s not difficult to stay together with mouth care.

The primary emphasis is developing and keeping good daily habits in conjunction. By means of this mix it’s not impossible to prevent decay and other conditions that are common. The most important part of the at home care it is possible to supply yourself would be to floss and brush at least twice. Plaque is the main source of tooth decay and gum disease. Your diet can also be an important measure to good health. Eating foods that have a lot of acid and sugar feed bacteria, which erode enamel and cause bad breath. Along the exact same lines, drinking lots of coffee or tea can result in staining and bad breath. As they’re for the remainder of you wholesome fruits and vegetables are great for the teeth as much.

Doing these things is an excellent way to start a regimen that is healthful. The following step would be to see a dentist for checkups that are regularly scheduled. It is promptly if you’re feeling that something is amiss and recommended you go in for an evaluation when there are not any issues. While in the practice the physician will most probably do several things.

Next you’ll most probably be given x rays to assess for underlying problems which will initially invisible. The dentist, above all finally will prepare one to appropriate oral hygiene techniques. They give tips about protecting them and can point out possible trouble areas. If you need some they’ll frequently provide you with a toothbrush and floss. Most of all they will allow you to to comprehend the effects of inferior care and help ensure your grin lasts an eternity.

Cellular Payment Services – Is the Threat Big Enough?

While being injured and ongoing the acupuncture treatment, I had a lot of time to learn about things that I wanted to. One of the things that I am very interested since my college years is security. Network and computer security has always been my favorite topic and I loved learning about tokenization and the amount of risk users have when performing payments from their phone. So, here is my take on cellular payment services. I hope you guys will enjoy reading it!

How many programs should companies utilize to create some kind of benefit for his or her clients that have transferred into mobile transaction processing, and easy payment tokenization? Your device that is smart has become a funds fitting. With NFC features locating its way across all intelligent products, the retail environment has a fresh stadium to procure. In Africa, there have been over $20 million bucks in trades that are cellular. The huge sum of money transacted in cellular as well as the tendency, orders a required option for companies who would like to contend in the transaction area that is current. Do repayments that are mobile generate conformity and more danger? We are going to look at a few of the the problems, both negative and positive, that retailers and people should confront to actually permit an Omni-Channel (Taking Obligations across several platforms -ex. E-Commerce and ACH) Running environment because of its clients.

Does intelligent products that are switching into money fittings trigger safety problems?

This depends entirely on safety integration. Mobile phones will not be created with all the safety of obligations at heart. Nevertheless, swiping at a card in to a security apparatus is very good. The the process is when the card does not swipe the thing that the results are or the equipment device fails. Subsequently the person inputs to the display of the phone /tablet PC that is smart. Many online- enemies provide it to neglect as to induce an individual to put in the card number to the display or or else eliminate the equipment apparatus, consequently circumventing any safety you had.

In the minute, for retailers, creating a mobile program to choose obligations is determined by the form of program that is cellular which you’re building. Generally, that however you are building it, cellular program, is broken, or when there is a substantial susceptibility that someone in a position to benefit from to take each of the transaction card information which you’re taking, that really does present a substantial threat to the retailer.

Does protection help /damage information by the cellular tendency?

Together with the tendency that is cellular, you are really dealing with somebody private apparatus, and attempting to ensure that private apparatus is difficult. Today, it is possible to procure a web server, it is possible to ensure a POS, it is possible to fix numerous distinct repayment approval programs. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to ensure a trade that is cellular, you will find issues which you are able to do as a retailer. Choosing obligations by way of a mobile program in your shop, or a tablet PC. Heading cellular, or utilizing mobile phones for obligations, as a retailer, it is possible to style transaction facilities and systems around choosing obligations quite safely.

Provided that you’re creating a program that is safe, whether more of a heavy client program, or may it be a browser-based program, creating a software utilizing code techniques that are really sound may easily decrease the quantity of danger that their entire consumer who utilize their apparatus to buy matters is introduced to by a retailer.

What kind of PCI compliance problems does this create?

For individuals who are building mobile software, or retailers, the Security Standards Council has introduced the PCI Compliant Hosting Mobile Payment Acceptance Security Tips for Computer Programmers. They may be in fact proceeding down the route of creating criteria and recommendations for individuals building mobile software to assist secure obligations through cellular programs.

Is shielding 5 million obligations on devices that are mobile possible?

Similar to what PCI did to the original POS techniques they must do to cellular. The issue won’t be eliminated by it, but may significantly enhance the transaction procedures that are mobile. Again, the crown-jewel here they’re heading, the large is similar to the Objective violation. Locate a vulnerability using an program that’s extensively employed, then at that time it is possible to assault numerous clients out there which may possibly have saved their credit card amount within that cellular program in the event that you can break a program.

I hope you guys loved reading about my view on tokenization and online payment! I have many more information to share with you guys! Love you fam!

Getting Acupuncture Treatment

Hello guys! I am finally back after a long time and today my post is going to be a little different. I have started to be interested in Acupuncture as it has helped me recover the physical and mental pain I have to go through due to skiing. If you guys are unaware of what Acupuncture is, here is my brief explanation. Acupuncture has been employed for 1000s of years, to handle hundreds of well-being issues and is founded on the grounds that many ailments are caused by neural and electricity trouble. This method of recovery that is normal is focused on restoring appropriate energy circulation through the entire human body and to all organ techniques, thereby allowing through the entire human body for optimum communication.

Power movement may be interrupted during the human body both through vertebral imbalance, that are routes that the human body conveys, or in the spine through meridians. Once a physician has determined and localized the bodies’ hindrance, acupuncture okc is suitable for many conditions that are common and uncomplicated in its use. Acupuncture can also be quite effective for states that are uncommon and complicated as a result of acupuncture itself being distinctive and intricate in the way it can provide total- removal and body equilibrium of disorder that is endemic.

Increasing investigation within the past decade has again and again demonstrated acupuncture treatment to make significant progress with individuals across a huge array of symptoms that were troublesome. As investigators continue to generate such optimistic assistance for acupuncture treatment, more and more wellness issues remain revealed to react well to this all-natural health care strategy that is. Maryland Anderson, Cancer Centers of America, Harvard College, The University of Oklahoma, UCLA Clinic, College of Md, are but some of the very best hospitals in the country that often use acupuncture care in therapy programs to get various health ailments, supporting the validity of acupuncture in conventional health care.

You’ll find lots of techniques utilized to be able to find the stream of electricity for example signs/ response factors, symptoms, and results that are critical. Dr. Cody Elledge, in Oklahoma City, has been acknowledged nationwide for his expertise and innovative instruction in the craft of acupuncture. Acupuncture and Chiropractic focuses on a number of varieties, including conventional needle acupuncture, acupressure that is unique, needle-less electro-acupuncture and craniosacral methods. The stimulation of acupuncture factors that are specific is not very dangerous and there’s absolutely no risk of disease. The methods used by Dr. Elledge are nearly pain-free, and the size majority of individuals consider acupuncture therapy quite calming and worry-free. With controlling the human body, acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments go together.

Thank you Dr. Elledge for helping me get back to my best!!!

Few Teams Have Done Less With More Than The Clippers

Although it didn’t exactly come as a shock to NBA observers, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers opted out of their contracts last week, creating the real possibility that LA’s recent run of relevance is coming to an end. And if the end is near for “Lob City,” it would mean one of the sports franchises most associated with failure somehow managed to fail even when it was winning games. Few NBA teams have ever accomplished so little with so much talent.

With 313 wins since Paul joined the team for the 2011-12 season, the Clippers own the league’s third-best record over that span. They’re coming off what is unquestionably the best six-year period in franchise history. Paul is a bona fide Point God, and with Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan, he gave LA a Big 3 that could theoretically go toe-to-toe with the league’s other star-powered trios. In terms of personal honors, Paul has few statistical peers in history among point guards, while Griffin and Jordan made seven combined All-NBA teams. By numerous team and individual standards, the partnership has been a rousing success.

But when dissecting this Clippers squad, there’s always the unfortunate matter of the playoffs to address. Because despite all those victories and accolades, LA has won only three measly playoff series in its Big 3 era and never advanced past the conference semifinals — a truly weak performance for a team with so much regular-season success.

We can measure just how disappointing the Clippers have been with a system called “playoff success points,” which I’ve used before to judge a team’s performance in the NBA postseason. Teams rack up points for winning series and advancing further into the playoffs. A championship is always worth 1,000 points; losing in the Finals, 500; losing in the conference finals, 250; and so forth. Since 2012, the Clippers have accumulated only 562.5 playoff success points, less than half as many as we’d expect based on their regular-season record:

Going back to the 1976 NBA-ABA merger, no other team has won at least 320 regular-season games in a six-year span and accumulated anywhere near as few playoff success points as the 2012-17 LA Clippers did. (The next-closest were the David Robinson-led 1990-95 San Antonio Spurs, another team known for falling short on the cusp of greatness.)

And LA’s star power makes its shortfall even harder to understand. In the CP3-Blake-DeAndre era, the Clippers have been home to 17 individual seasons where a player logged at least 20 percent of available minutes and posted a Box Plus/Minus (BPM) of +3 or better (those cutoffs roughly give you a star-level season): Six by Paul, six by Griffin, four by Jordan and one by Matt Barnes. Only 17 times since the merger has a franchise boasted so many star-level seasons in a six-year span, and they usually come from dynastic teams (Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls; Tim Duncan’s San Antonio Spurs) or would-be dynasties like the Stockton-to-Malone Utah Jazz and the Philadelphia 76ers of the early 1980s. Once again, the Big 3-era Clippers have enjoyed the least amount of postseason success of any team in that group:

The Clippers have the stars, but not the rings

Most playoff success points over a six-year span for teams with at least 17 individual player seasons with +3 Box Plus/Minus (BPM) or higher, 1977-2017

SIX-YEAR TOTALS
YEARS TEAM WINS* +3 BPM SEASONS PLAYOFF SUCCESS PTS.
1991-96 Bulls 359 17 4250.0
1992-97 Bulls 367 18 4250.0
1993-98 Bulls 362 17 4250.0
1980-85 76ers 354 18 2562.5
2004-09 Spurs 347 17 2562.5
1981-86 76ers 349 17 2187.5
2012-17 Spurs 365 23 2187.5
2009-14 Spurs 347 19 2000.0
2010-15 Spurs 348 20 2000.0
2011-16 Spurs 365 22 2000.0
1994-99 Jazz 355 18 1687.5
1995-2000 Jazz 357 19 1562.5
1996-2001 Jazz 350 19 1562.5
1997-2002 Jazz 339 19 1375.0
1993-98 SuperSonics 357 17 1125.0
1998-2003 Jazz 322 17 937.5
2012-17 Clippers 323 17 562.5

*Wins in shortened seasons are pro-rated to 82 games. Box Plus/Minus (BPM) is an estimate of a player’s net points added per 100 possessions.

Source: BASKETBALL-REFERENCE.COM

None of this is to say that the Clippers’ core should be blown up; after all, players of Paul and Griffin’s caliber don’t grow on trees. Nor do the duo’s opt-outs necessarily mean either (or both) won’t be back in LA next season anyway. The Clippers can still pay each substantially more money than either could get elsewhere, should LA choose to offer them max deals. Griffin and Jordan will still be under 30 next year, and CP3 is coming off his best statistical season as a Clipper (when he was healthy).

So the tank is hardly empty in LA. But with fabled exec Jerry West leaving the champion Golden State Warriors to join the Clippers as a front-office consultant, a Big 3 breakup wouldn’t come as a total surprise, either. And if that does happen, the Clippers and their fans can only look back at the last six seasons with regret over what might have been.

The New CBO Report On Health Insurance Didn’t Do Republicans Any Favors

The Congressional Budget Office on Monday announced an unsurprising but important conclusion: The Senate version of the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is broadly similar to the House version that has been discussed for months. The Senate bill, if it becomes law, is likely to increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million by 2026, compared to what would happen if the Affordable Care Act stayed in place, according to the CBO. It would also reduce the number of people on Medicaid by 15 million by 2026. And it would reshuffle the private insurance system set up under Obamacare in a way that is likely to increase costs for older people, while reducing premiums and other costs for some younger people.

The overall number of uninsured people is projected to be slightly different under the Senate plan than the House version, which the CBO said would result in 23 million more Americans being uninsured, although the agency estimates that many of the people losing coverage would be those who chose not to buy insurance because it would no longer be legally required, as it is now under Obamacare. The CBO said the Senate version would cut $772 billion of Medicaid funding over the next decade, compared to $834 billion in the House bill. The Senate bill’s 15 million person decline in Medicaid enrollment is slightly higher than the drop that would result from the House bill, which was estimated at 14 million people. Both bills would repeal a variety of Obamacare tax increases that largely targeted wealthy Americans and the health care industry; those tax cuts are worth about $541 billion in the Senate bill, compared to $664 billion in the House version.

In terms of its costs to individuals, the CBO estimated that a 40-year-old with an annual income of $56,800 would pay about $5,000 in yearly health insurance premiums under the Senate Republican bill, about $500 less than the same person would pay under Obamacare. But a 64-year-old making the same amount of money would pay $4,400 in yearly premiums under Obamacare, compared to $16,000 a year under the Senate health care bill. If those premiums are combined with a high deductible, the cost of health care could equate to nearly 40 percent of that 64-year-old’s annual income.

“This legislation would generally reduce the percentage of income that younger people had to pay toward their premiums and increase that percentage for older people,” the CBO wrote.

And many Americans would get less help under the Senate plan than they get under the ACA. Broadly, the agency concluded, “the average subsidy per subsidized enrollee under this legislation would be significantly lower than the average subsidy under current law.”

The CBO goes so far as to say that few low-income people would buy health insurance, even though they would qualify for subsidies under the Senate plan, because the tax credits would be pegged to plans with high deductibles. That would make the total cost of the plan unaffordable, even if a person can pay the premiums.

These findings are unsurprising because the Senate, despite its suggestions that it would effectively toss out the House bill and create a new one from scratch, wound up including similar provisions to those in the bill passed by the lower chamber last month. But the CBO score is important because those who want to kill the legislation, including Democrats, medical groups like the American Heart Association, the AARP and other constituencies, are very likely to cite these numbers when they blast the Senate proposal. And these findings could complicate Republicans’ plans to pass the legislation through the Senate — which they are rumored to be trying to do as soon as this week — by giving reluctant GOP senators a reason to vote “no” or demand changes to the proposal. The legislation needs at least 50 votes to pass the Senate (Vice President Mike Pence would serve as the tiebreaker if necessary); there are 52 Republican senators, and several have voiced reservations.

On Friday, Dean Heller, a Republican senator from Nevada, said he opposed the legislation, at least “in this form,” because it “takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans.” The CBO has now buttressed his position.

Here are four of the big shifts the Senate made away from the House version of the bill:

  1. Phasing out some of the federal funding for Medicaid expansion over three years rather than reducing funding for expansion all at once.
  2. Using a formula for Medicaid funding that would provide less money to states for the program than the House bill would have provided — and far less than is allocated under the ACA.

The CBO said this change would likely force states to either spend more of their own money on Medicaid, cut payments to doctors and hospitals, reduce services for Medicaid recipients, limit Medicaid enrollment or figure out how to implement “more efficient methods for delivering services.”

The agency predicts that, under the Senate plan, about 15 million fewer people will be enrolled in 2026 than under current law. But the agency also foresees additional drops in Medicaid enrollment after that date.

  1. Barring states from waiving the ACA provision that prohibits insurers from charging higher prices for insurance plans to people with pre-existing conditions. However, this legislation, like the House bill, would allow states to waive some of the insurance laws implemented under Obamacare, and there appear to be a lot of ways that insurers could get around the ban on charging sick people more.

If states drop rules requiring insurers to offer certain benefits, “coverage for maternity care, mental health care, rehabilitative and habilitative treatment, and certain very expensive drugs could be at risk” in those states, the CBO concluded.

  1. Penalizing those who went without insurance for more than 63 days by imposing a six-month waiting period before they can get coverage in a new plan. All three systems — the ACA, the House bill and the Senate bill — seek to punish those who don’t have insurance in order to discourage people from buying health insurance only after they have gotten sick and to make sure that relatively healthy people get insurance, which helps keep insurers’ costs down. The ACA does this through the so-called individual mandate, which charges a tax penalty to people who don’t have health insurance. The House bill would have done it by allowing insurers to impose a 30 percent surcharge on premiums for people who had gone without coverage for 63 days or more in the previous year.

“Imposing that waiting period” proposed by the Senate “would … slightly increase the number of people with insurance, on net,” the CBO concluded.

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What Went Down In The NBA Draft

10:59 PM

Good Night!

155775 Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster

The first round is over, and so is our live blog. Porzingis stays a Knick. The various Paul George deals that were so widely speculated about also apparently stalled. Jimmy Butler was the only big name to change teams. What was everyone’s top takeaway from the night?

Nate: In many respects, this draft went to form. It seems like the big winners have to be the Timberwolves for the Butler trade and the Knicks for not doing something stupid.

Neil: The big, obvious winner of the night is Minnesota, grabbing Jimmy Butler for very little. As for draft picks, I also liked Orlando snagging Jonathan Isaac at No. 6. The stats said he was the second-best prospect in the field, and he should be ready to contribute before too long.

Geoff: This is clearly a sentence that should never be written: I like what the Kings did in the draft. I think Fox is going to be star, Justin Jackson has a low ceiling but is a safe role player and Harry Giles obviously has huge upside if he can somehow remain healthy.

Kyle: I think the Wolves are big winners too, but they’re in a more traditional teambuilding scenario now — they have a few stars and need to find talent to surround them with. This is the step that many tank-centric rebuilds (deliberate or otherwise) haven’t had a plan for. Even the Thunder, after their big draft hauls, struggled to find talent. So it’s a win, but also just the first step. But as far as draft picks from tonight, I still think the story is Lonzo. He profiles like a 36-year-old Jason Kidd at age 19. He may be the Rajon Rondo to the Banana Boat crew’s Big Three landing in L.A. And the Lakers are still the Lakers — and could still do something ridiculous before the season starts. And at the center of that is an oversized point guard who passes like a dream, which isn’t the worst thing to have in L.A.

Chris: Clear takeaway is that the Wolves could make some real noise next season, based on what happened tonight. The Bulls are going to rebuild, and they unloaded a legitimate star, which will help Minnesota in a big way. Still waiting to see if any other big dominoes fall, with the Celtics still having the assets to get something done if they opt to go that route.

OK, so the Timberwolves owned the night. That much is clear. Now with the first round over, the basketball conversation can return to the Golden State Warriors. See you in a year, other 29 teams!

(see updates…)

Does It Matter That Senate Republicans Wrote Their Health Care Bill In Secret?

Senate Republicans are expected to release the text of their health care bill Thursday morning, after weeks of negotiations that have occurred behind closed doors. We convened a group of FiveThirtyEighters to talk about the process so far — and what might be coming down the pike. The transcript below has been lightly edited.

blythe (Blythe Terrell, senior editor): Let’s set the stage. The American Health Care Act passed the House on May 4, and now the Senate GOP is working on its version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). But the process has been … unusual: All of the discussion has happened in private. How weird is this? What has the response been?

anna (Anna Maria Barry-Jester, lead writer, health): I don’t claim to be a Senate historian, but it’s been interesting to read about this from people who are academics, or have covered the Senate as journalists for a long time. And they have written a lot!

The main thrust seems to be that this is very secretive, given that it’s such a big, important bill, but that the secrecy is also the extension of an existing reduction in quantity and quality of Senate hearings.

perry (Perry Bacon Jr., senior writer): From Sarah Binder of Brookings, an expert on congressional rules, here are four reasons why this process has been distinct:

  1. Most closed-door bargaining in the Senate is bipartisan.
  2. When leaders close the doors, it’s often because the legislative process has ground to a halt. For example, negotiations over federal discretionary spending often take place in secret.
  3. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s tactics are particularly unusual because Republicans are trying to legislate on one of the nation’s most complicated policy issues.
  4. Bipartisan deals that emerge from closed-door groups are usually then defended in public in committee and on the floor, and the committee process is not happening here.

The reasons Binder gives for why Republicans are doing things this way seem right to me too:

  1. Avoiding President Trump getting involved.
  2. The bill will be unpopular.
  3. They only need GOP votes.

anna: Yeah, it’s particularly striking that closed-door sessions are usually used for bipartisan work, so that the public doesn’t see the sausage getting made, each party making concessions to get their big asks. That’s not the case here; this is a select group of Republicans crafting this bill.

blythe: Perry, do we have any idea if part of the GOP strategy is to keep Trump away from the bill? Is he seen as a liability here?

perry: This has not been said to me explicitly, no. I just think that Trump tends to tweet and comment on topics that are in the news a lot. And by having a closed process, Senate Republicans are kind of keeping this from becoming the only topic in Washington.

anna: Worth noting that a lot of conservatives are irritated that the GOP is using the arcane budget reconciliation process, which requires only 51 votes (50 senators and the VP). It really limits what the Senate can do, because they can’t fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, they can just make changes to it that affect the budget. It’s gonna make for some messy policy.

blythe: Right, they don’t have to bring any Democrats on board. But we’ll all see the text on Thursday (reportedly). Is there a long-term political risk to doing it secretly?

anna: I’ll let Perry get into political costs, but I certainly think the secrecy could have a policy cost, which is, of course, related. There’s a much higher risk of unintended consequences, loopholes, people falling through the cracks, in a bill that’s not subject to scrutiny from various constituencies.

perry: Right. I think it’s important to emphasize that this health care bill affects a lot of people differently. If you’re defunding Planned Parenthood, it might be worth hearing from that group. Or other constituencies who maybe the people writing the bill have not considered.

anna: Agree. And I should also clarify, I’m not really even talking about this politically, like whether it includes ideas people like or don’t like (though that’s also true!). More that you can end up with messy language that’s hard to implement, or legislative language that’s open to different interpretations and so ends up in costly legal battles.

perry: In terms of political costs, I assume the politics are about the bill itself — not the process. By 2018, the bill will be having real-world impacts. If this process were happening in October 2018, I might feel differently.

Also, if the closed-door process was going to kill the GOP politically, they would not be doing this.

blythe: Gotcha. So by then, the secrecy issue will likely have faded.

anna: Perry, as you’ve written, the process here seems to indicate that the GOP thinks there’s a bigger cost to not passing a bill than to passing one that people don’t like?

perry: I think questions of motives are always difficult. That said, they seem to understand that their vision of health care is not going to be easy to defend publicly, but they want to pass this bill anyway. I think it goes to others’ motives: this being a real goal of the party, party activists and donors really caring about repeal, etc.

blythe: OK, so it initially sounded like senators were going to write a new bill. But doesn’t a lot of what’s trickling out mirror what the House Republicans included in their bill?

perry: I’ll be honest: I never believed that.

anna: Agree with Perry.

perry: Republicans have been talking about repeal since 2010. And the basic outlines were always about rolling back Medicaid expansion and changing the tax credit systems.

anna: And they were pretty clear early on that they wanted to not only roll back Medicaid expansion, but also restructure the rest of the Medicaid program.

(And let’s not forget cutting taxes!)

perry: I also think a broad-based new bill would be hard because they have to get it through the House. So writing a whole new bill, then having the House get into that, we could be into October. Or next year even.

blythe: What do we expect to be different in the Senate bill?

perry: Here’s a broad summary from Politico:

The Senate is on the verge of unveiling a sweeping Obamacare repeal bill that would end Medicaid as an open-ended entitlement, roll back health insurance subsidies and strike multiple taxes from the Affordable Care Act.

The bill is expected to repeal the biggest parts of the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate and the employer mandate. It is also expected to defund Planned Parenthood for one year by kicking the women’s health organization out of the Medicaid program. That provision could be dropped if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs votes from key moderates who oppose it.

anna: Right, it’s clear Medicaid is going to be rolled way back. But the details are really important to senators here because they have a massive effect on state budgets.

perry: The House process had a big fight over pre-existing conditions. I think we are going to see one over Medicaid in the Senate.

blythe: Where are the battle lines in those fights?

anna: For Medicaid, how fast to roll back the program and how much to limit funding.

For the subsidies for people buying insurance on the marketplaces — folks that don’t get insurance from an employer or a public program — there’s the push and shove of how to calculate those subsidies.

Rand Paul really doesn’t want them tied to income or the cost of insurance, which is what the ACA does, because it’s maintaining an entitlement. But moderate Republicans like Susan Collins in Maine and Lisa Murkowski in Alaska do. Health care is really expensive in their states.

perry: And in a political way, there’s a group of Medicaid expansion state senators (Rob Portman of Ohio, Dean Heller of Nevada, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Murkowski) and then the “I want a big repeal” senators (Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah).

One big factor I think we should mention here: In the House, a lot of members basically said, “We had a vote over here, but the Senate will fix whatever we did wrong.” This Senate bill is the real deal. This is the vehicle. So I think you are going to see a huge mobilization on the left to make calls to Senate offices. Dramatic speeches from senators.

The CBO score release will be a big event too.

blythe: Yeah, and that could come next week. The Senate wants to do this all before the July 4 recess, right? Is that still the goal?

anna: Right, that’s expected early next week. The last CBO score was pretty devastating to public perceptions of the House bill.

perry: So I think people should be watching how senators react, how key groups (AARP, Heritage Action) react, how Trump reacts, what the CBO says and how the public reacts.

But I would not plan your life around this happening before the July 4 recess.

blythe: Ha

anna: Phew.

perry: This just seems like a lot to do in a week. I assume the CBO score will force some members to demand changes.

blythe: Yeah, that will give Democrats and Republicans some numbers to wave around.

perry: I think Democrats only!

anna: This. 👆

perry: But I think the GOP can wave around something else: the number of insurers pulling out of markets. That is their big argument.

Last thing: Anyone who tells you they know what will happen, maybe other than Mitch McConnell, is lying.

anna: Ha. I mean, among other things, even once this bill comes out, there will be changes. Even if the usual hearings aren’t happening, etc., there will be changes.

perry: This is a very complicated issue, and I think some members actually don’t know what to do. There are something like seven GOP senators who would like this bill to go away. But voting against it is different.

blythe: Closing question: What would be the biggest surprise?

anna: It would surprise me greatly if Medicaid isn’t cut waaaaay back, even though those cuts are posing a problem.

perry: It would surprise me if there is a vote before July 4. Nothing happens on time in Washington. It would also surprise me if there is an actual vote and this fails (as opposed to it passing or it somehow never coming to a vote). I’d also be a bit surprised if Trump did not say something weird/unhelpful about the bill.

More broadly, I have expected this to pass since the House passed their version. I just think there is a deep desire among the power players in the party to repeal Obamacare. So if this legislation does not eventually pass, I will be surprised.

But remember, no one knows anything. Donald. Trump. Is. President.

blythe: On that note: It looks like we’re about to actually get some data (read: legislation). So let’s see where that takes us.

Georgia And South Carolina Special Elections: Live Coverage

10:28 PM

That’s A Wrap

12600 Micah Cohen
Micah Cohen

So that’s that: The Republican won in Georgia 6, and the Republican won in South Carolina 5. We’ll have more to say Wednesday on what the results portend, but that does it for our live blog coverage.

Before we go, though, I asked FiveThirtyEighters for their main takeaway(s) from the results tonight. Here’s what they had to say:

Harry: Democrats have to be disappointed by the final result in Georgia. I don’t think there’s any other way to put it. They didn’t want another moral victory. The “reluctant” Trump vote is still mostly with President Trump — at least in Georgia 6. Of course, I’ll say what I have always said. We look at all the special elections, and we average them together. The South Carolina 5 result was good for Democrats. We’ll have more special election results over the months to come. We’ll see where those land.

Nate: For me, this is sort of the maximally “well, actually…” outcome. By which I mean it’s liable to be pretty demoralizing for Democrats and lead to some pretty bad headlines. But … well, actually … if you’re using special elections as benchmarks for what might happen in 2018, Democrats’ overperformance in South Carolina 5 is as impressive as Republicans’ holding on in Georgia 6. To the extent that the results could matter for things like the health care vote, it’s a good night for Republicans. To the extent that we’re forecasting 2018, I’m really not so sure.

Clare: I think Georgia 6, that reluctant Trump district, really lined up with what our surveys have said about reluctant Trump voters — that they’re still with him/the Republican Party, if only tepidly. I also think that money and hyped national attention can have a distorting effect on a race.

Perry: My main takeaway is to wonder how all this will affect the political agenda. Nate wrote about how the Georgia race might affect the health care vote in the Senate. I’m curious to see how it affects other things happening in Washington as well. The media has gotten more aggressive, not only on the Russia investigation, but also by describing how Trump/Republicans are violating norms. CNN’s White House reporter, for example, was slamming the administration on Monday for not allowing press briefings to be on camera or even recorded on audio. The Washington Post had a big story highlighting the closed-door health care process and other moves made by Trump and congressional Republicans that limited transparency. Media coverage, in my experience, gets tougher when a politician or party has low approval ratings. Trump is still in a weak position. But it’s not clear that congressional Republicans are, particularly, after tonight. I think how the media, along with Democrats in Congress, perceive the Handel win is just as important as tonight’s results.

Dave: I think a lot of people are going to be interpreting this result as a disaster for Democrats. Here’s why I think it’s not: 1. Special elections are often lagging, not leading, indicators. In 2010, Democrats surprisingly (and convincingly) held on to a southwestern Pennsylvania seat that John McCain had carried just five months before losing their House majority. The reason? The voters who showed up were ancestrally Democratic — almost a mirror image of what we saw tonight. 2. Turnout in the Georgia 6 special election was much higher than it’s likely to be in most districts in November 2018. That’s good news for Democrats, because they saw a surprisingly strong result tonight in South Carolina 5, where turnout was abysmal. As a rule, Democrats are more fired up than Republicans right now. So the more both sides turn out, Republicans stand to gain.

(see updates…)

Politics Podcast: The Most Special Special Election

 

This week on the show, the FiveThirtyEight politics podcast team games out the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Is the race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel really that big a deal? Plus, in “good use of polling vs. bad use of polling,” Nate explains that chocolate milk does actually come from brown cows. Finally, they speculate on the possibility of a Mike Pence presidency and what it would mean for the Republican Party.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with occasional special episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

The Warriors Didn’t Need Kevin Durant To Be This Good

The narrative going into the 2016-17 Warriors season was how unfair it was that one of the best teams of all time added one of the best players of all time to become unstoppable. And after the Warriors posted the best winning percentage in NBA postseason history and their star acquisition won the NBA Finals MVP, the narrative coming out of the season is much the same, only louder. But easy to lose in this narrative is the simple fact that the Warriors probably didn’t need Kevin Durant for the team to be this good — or at least almost this good. While adding Durant has been a success, it didn’t end up breaking basketball any more than the Warriors had broken it already.

Counting the regular season and playoffs, the Warriors won 84 percent of their games this year — up from 83 percent last year and 81 percent the year before. Teams have only won 80+ percent of their combined season games 11 times in the 70-year history of the NBA. The Warriors have now done it three years in a row.

But the Warriors’ mission isn’t just to win titles, it’s to guarantee them. And Durant is both icing and insurance policy — a guarantee that the Warriors will always have an MVP-caliber, one-man offense available. Though he makes them a little bit better in his own right, his main value comes from making what happened to them in the 2016 playoffs less likely.

So what does make them so good? And, more broadly, is greatness a matter of refining all aspects of a discipline, or does it stem from being freakishly good at one thing? The Warriors are the first dynasty in the ball-tracking era, which gives us an opportunity to measure their greatness in ways that we couldn’t for dynasties past.

This, in turn, may also help answer the question of just how likely the Warriors are to regress to the mean. If their greatness is a confluence of factors, then there’s a whole lot of things that could go wrong to bring them back to earth. On the other hand, if their greatness is more about one thing, then maybe they can keep crushing the game indefinitely.

The most dominant three-year dynasty ever

The Warriors are an offensive juggernaut — but they’re more than that as well. We can see how much they’re contributing to their margins elsewhere by comparing their offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions) to their SRS (margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule), like so:

While they’ve scored about 7 more points per 100 possessions than league average, they’ve also been 10.6 points better than their opponents overall — so about a third of their edge seems to come from something other than offensive efficiency.

But it isn’t rare for teams with stronger-than-average offenses to also have stronger-than-average defenses. This is a bit counterintuitive — it seems like a great offensive team would be more likely to be weak on defense, since those are two very different skillsets and trade-offs must be made. And teams do, in fact, have to choose between more offense or more defense, so it’s significant that the relationship isn’t negative at all.

The offense can make the defense

To understand the sometimes complicated relationship between offense and defense, take the case of Dennis Rodman. Despite being known as a great defensive player, Rodman’s teams defended just about as well with or without him. And despite him being unable (or unwilling) to score himself, his teams were significantly more efficient on offense when he was on the court (even after accounting for his offensive rebounding). I suspect this is because having Rodman in the game allowed his teams to devote fewer resources to defending and rebounding, diverting those energies to offense instead. Similarly, having a highly efficient outside offense may allow a team to divert resources to the other end of the floor — not to mention that having your offensive players hang out more in the space between their opponents and their opponent’s basket can make their defensive job easier.

So let’s compare the Warriors’ offense and defense a bit more directly:

This uses the SportsVu optical tracking data to judge offensive and defensive shooting versus league averages — it’s pretty similar to offensive and defensive ratings, but with rebounding and fouls taken out so we can concentrate on just shots taken and defended. Over their three-year run, the Warriors have been the best on both ends of the floor when it comes to both making and defending shots. Even so, their offensive prowess is particularly absurd.

Another thing we can do to compare their offense and defense is to break them down two-dimensionally: by the quality of the shots taken or allowed (based on each shot’s modeled expectation), and then by how good a team was at scoring or preventing each shot, given that expectation. This relies heavily on my shot-value model, which accounts for shot type, shot location, shot clock, dribbles, time held, home court, defender position, defender distance, defender height and more.

This shows that the Warriors appear to have a lot of players who are better at defense than they should be. Perhaps being free to focus on defense more than rebounding and offense helps. Perhaps they play bigger than their size in part because they’re typically in better position than you would expect from players on a more conventional offense whose goal is literally to get behind the other team. Perhaps opponents have to play offense with an extra eye on defense, or with more defenders than they would usually play.

Also, having people like Stephen Curry and Durant as the offensive centerpieces may allow you to surround them with players who are more defense-oriented. Much like Rodman, someone like Draymond Green’s value may be fully realized precisely because he isn’t required to carry his offense. For a power forward, his responsibilities don’t include that much penetrating and collapsing the Warriors opponents’ defenses. Thus, despite being somewhat undersized for his position, Green has thrived — and indeed, may be one of the most valuable players in the league — in his current role.

And Curry’s shooting makes the offense

While the link between Golden State’s offense and defense is speculative, the relationship between their 3-point shooting and their other shooting is easier to track.

Golden State’s relentless barrage of 3s tends to make people forget that the Warriors are also good at 2-point shooting. The difference is that much more of their value on 2s comes from getting good shots, while more of their value on 3s comes from making the shots they get. Typically there is a relationship between how good a team is compared to expectation for both 3- and 2-point shooting, which is unsurprising since we’d expect good shooters to be good shooters, no matter where they’re shooting from. But the Warriors are not only unusually good at 3-point shooting, they’re also better at 3-point shooting than other shooting by an unusual margin. Comparing the two directly, we can see where the Warriors really butter their bread:

The Warriors are respectable at shooting inside the arc, but have been more than twice as good as the next-best team at shooting 3s in this period. They’re so good at it that there’s an argument that they should be doing it even more often, and that Curry — still the best shooter the game has ever seen — should be doing it way more often.

You can throw more defense at them, and teams have done so — as you see in the breakdown chart above, they’re pretty close to average in 3-point shot quality already. But the Warriors are still better at shooting 3s than any other team is at anything — 3s, 2s or defense. And diverting more and more resources toward keeping them from scoring 130+ points per game (as they would if they got off a typical Warriors dynasty-era 3 on every possession), comes at a price. Opponents are working so hard to stop the 3 that they’re almost certainly losing something from their offense or 2-point defense, which likely helps explain why the Warriors get so many open looks inside the arc.

Part of being good at lots of things is being really good at a couple of things. Curry’s ridiculous shooting opens up the Warriors’ offense. Not only are his shots incredibly efficient, but he also draws so much of his opponents’ attention that he makes his teammates look amazing — and makes his team immensely better. Looking at NBAWowy, which tracks how teams perform with a given player on the court versus on the bench, the Warriors outscored their opponents by 3.1 points per 100 possessions when Durant was playing and Curry was not; that number jumped to 16.1 points per 100 possessions with Curry on the court and Durant on the sidelines.

While Durant may be the story of the season, the Warriors’ dynasty was built and is still being propped up by Curry’s ability to throw the ball into the hoop from great distances. Provided he keeps being able to do that, expect Golden State to keep the game broken.

 

Lee Westwood Inherits Sergio’s Title: Best Golfer Without A Major

The 12-foot birdie putt Sergio Garcia sank to win the Masters in April had bigger consequences than ensuring him a garish new jacket. It also meant somebody else would have to take on the title of “Best Player To Never Win A Major,” a crown that Garcia had worn for nearly a decade. And according to our calculations, that player should be England’s Lee Westwood, who shot 69 in the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday.

No pressure, Westy.

The golf world usually hands out the dreaded “BPTNWAM” designation by reputation and consensus, but we wanted to take a crack at it using a formula. In the past, we’ve judged the quality of a player’s performance in majors — win or lose — using “major shares,” which estimate how many majors a player would be expected to win given his scoring relative to the field average in past majors. (Fractional “shares” of wins accumulate over time for good players; also-rans garner scores at or near zero.) So for our purposes here, I’m considering the BPTNWAM to be the player who, at the time of each major, had the most career major shares without an actual major victory.

According to those rules, here’s a chronology of the BPTNWAM since the great Ben Crenshaw took over the title in August of 1979:

PLAYER START END LENGTH (MAJORS) WON A MAJOR?
Ben Crenshaw 1979 PGA 1984 Masters 18
Peter Oosterhuis 1984 U.S. Open 1984 PGA 3
Greg Norman 1985 Masters 1986 British 7
Andy Bean 1986 PGA 1988 British 8
Nick Price 1988 PGA 1990 Masters 6
Andy Bean 1990 U.S. Open 1990 U.S. Open 1
Paul Azinger 1990 British 1990 PGA 2
Nick Price 1991 Masters 1991 British 3
Gil Morgan 1991 PGA 1994 Masters 10
John Cook 1994 U.S. Open 1995 PGA 7
Colin Montgomerie 1996 Masters 2001 PGA 24
Phil Mickelson 2002 Masters 2004 Masters 9
Loren Roberts 2004 U.S. Open 2004 PGA 3
Sergio Garcia 2005 Masters 2005 Masters 1
Chris DiMarco 2005 U.S. Open 2005 U.S. Open 1
Colin Montgomerie 2005 British 2006 British 5
Chris DiMarco 2006 PGA 2006 PGA 1
Sergio Garcia 2007 Masters 2007 Masters 1
Chris DiMarco 2007 U.S. Open 2008 U.S. Open 5
Sergio Garcia 2008 British 2017 Masters 35
Lee Westwood 2017 U.S. Open
A chronology of the “Best Player To Never Win A Major”

Based on how many career “major shares” a player had going into each major tournament since 1979. To be in the running, a player had to make the cut in at least half of the previous eight majors.

Sources: ESPN, Yahoo Sports

Crenshaw would plug away for the next 18 major tournaments before finally shedding the label with a win at the 1984 Masters. (A player can leave the BPTNWAM list three ways: Winning a major; falling behind another player’s major shares; or not playing enough to qualify for the list anymore.) Among all the title-holders since 1979, Crenshaw’s streak was the third-longest — though it paled in comparison with the streak that Garcia just ended.

Garcia was the modern king of the BPTNWAMs. Before his win at the Masters, he had gone 35 consecutive majors (back to the 2008 British Open) as the BPTNWAM, and before that, he’d traded the title back and forth with Chris DiMarco a few times. His 37 total tournaments as BPTNWAM are the most of any player since 1979 (eight more than No. 2 Colin Montgomerie).

Now the honor falls to Westwood, whose 0.86 career major shares leads all major-less players in the U.S. Open field:

CURRENT RANKING CAREER AT MAJORS
PLAYER GOLFWEEK OWGR* CUTS MADE MAJOR SHARES
Lee Westwood 52 54 58 0.86
Steve Stricker 13 85 54 0.47
Rickie Fowler 16 9 22 0.42
Branden Grace 44 29 14 0.26
Matt Kuchar 28 15 29 0.20
Marc Leishman 27 35 13 0.20
Andres Romero 609 798 12 0.13
Brandt Snedeker 31 38 26 0.13
J.B. Holmes 91 52 15 0.10
Scott Piercy 128 62 8 0.09
Who’s the new “Best Player To Never Win A Major”?

* Official World Golf Ranking

Sources: ESPN, Yahoo Sports, Golfweek

Westwood, at age 44, is perhaps the most decorated English golfer in recent history — he’s racked up 23 European Tour victories and seven Ryder Cup victories and even snapped Tiger Woods’s 281-week stranglehold on the No. 1 ranking in 2010. But the majors have been painful. He’s finished in the top 10 on 18 different occasions and been runner-up three times. This has earned him close to $9 million in prize money in the majors alone, but an empty trophy case.

Now on the unfamiliar grounds of Erin Hills (a Wisconsin course that’s never hosted a major before), Westwood can only hope his reign as BPTNWAM is short. He’s off to a good start, finishing Thursday 3 strokes under par — but the first three rounds are generally not the problem for the Englishman. Going into this week, Westwood’s average score in rounds 1 through 3 at the majors has been 72.0, but on Sunday, that number rises to 72.6, according to the statistical site Golfstats.

The bookmakers don’t like his chances this weekend, either. Before the tournament, his odds of winning were 65-to-1, according to VegasInsider.com. Maybe they’ve been scoping out the success rate for past BPTNWAMs: Even including Garcia’s victory in April, the title-holder won just four times in 149 tries (2.7 percent) going back to the 1980 Masters. That’s a big reason why the average BPTNWAM hung onto the designation for 11.5 tournaments (nearly three years’ worth of majors) over the same time period.

Westwood is also nearly outside the career phase where any golfers have ever won a major. So most likely, his BPTNWAM reign will end when he stops playing majors regularly, rather than with a championship victory. But golf has also given us a few stellar moments by players older than Westwood, including Jack Nicklaus’s Masters win at age 46 and, more recently, Tom Watson forcing a playoff in the British Open at age 59. Perhaps it won’t happen this week, but Westwood might just have enough left in the tank to shed his newfound, inglorious title in a grand way.

Five People Are Facing Manslaughter Charges Because Of Flint’s Water Crisis

It has been more than three years since the Flint water crisis began, and many residents are still drinking bottled water. Today, Michigan’s attorney general announced new charges related to the crisis, including a charge of involuntary manslaughter, leveled at five public officials.

After the city of Flint’s water source was changed in April 2014 from Lake Huron to the Flint River, the corrosive river water wasn’t properly treated. That water in turn ate through the protective film inside of pipes and fixtures around the city, allowing lead to leach into the drinking water of tens of thousands of residents. But corrosive water can also be a breeding ground for Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease. The bacteria are frequently found in the water cooling towers of large buildings such as hotels and hospitals, but they can also appear in local water systems. During the crisis, more than 100 people in Flint acquired the disease, which researchers have shown is likely a result of the improperly treated water.

One of the deaths related to Legionnaires’ led to the most severe charge handed out today, involuntary manslaughter. The charge is tied to the death of 85-year-old Robert Skidmore, one of 12 people who died from Legionnaires’ in Flint during the summers of 2014 and 2015. Nick Lyon, director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services, was among those charged with involuntary manslaughter, as were Darnell Earley, former Flint emergency manager; Liane Shekter-Smith, former state drinking water chief; Howard Croft, former director of public works in Flint; and Stephen Busch, a district water supervisor for the state Department of Environmental Quality. Lyon was also charged with misconduct in office. Both charges are felonies in Michigan. More than a dozen other officials were previously charged with less serious crimes.

Skidmore died in 2015. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said at a news conference today that by that time, state officials knew about the outbreak but had not made the issue public, an action that they contend could have saved lives. Schuette also said that there are no plans to charge Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder but that officials are still investigating. He said his team has attempted to interview the governor, but “we were not successful,” the Detroit Free Press reported.