Priorities, Please!

While health care reform is subject to frequent cost criticisms, America's outdated trident nuclear program is far more expensive but receives no public attention, writes the Huffington Post.

While health care reform is subject to frequent cost criticisms, America's outdated trident nuclear program is far more expensive but receives no public attention, writes the Huffington Post. "The lead story in Saturday's Washington Post, about the nuclear weapons decisions facing President Obama, runs longer than 1,300 words, but five a reader won't find are 'cost,' 'dollars,' 'money,' 'debt,' or 'deficit.' A reader would also search in vain for any talk of a 'fiscal crisis' or a need to balance nuclear weapons priorities with available revenues. That same reader, of course, rarely has to venture past the first sentence of a health care reform story to find that the subject is a 'trillion dollar overhaul.' Occasionally, it's noted that the trillion dollars is spread over ten years. One particular decision that Obama faces is whether to continue what's known as the "triad" - three independent ways the United States developed to annihilate the Soviet Union. Warheads can be delivered with bombers, from submarines or with intercontinental ballistic missiles. The military developed ICBMs in the '50s and '60s, recognizing that bombers would soon be obsolete and too easy to defend against. But the bomber squadrons have their own internal and industry defenders and have never been phased out. Each leg of the triad costs tens of billions of dollars per year to maintain."

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
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Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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