Josh Marshall: Trump Skates. But It's Not the Press's Fault. (Huffington Post)
I've seen several complaints this morning that the news media has failed to hold President Trump to account for the multiple allegations against him ranging from inappropriate touching to assault and rape. I think this is wrong. We've seen a clear pattern playing out in all the allegations about sexual misconduct and the firings, resignations and apologies which have followed in their wake. The consequences track entirely to the constituency - either political, commercial or corporate - the accused serves and depend on. If the constituency doesn't care, the accused will be fine.
Helaine Olen: Stymied on many fronts, Trump chips away at Obama's legacy wherever possible (Washington Post)
Trump's never had a real agenda other, perhaps, than enriching his own bottom line. […] All he can do is take advantage of his power to make changes to the regulatory apparatus and do what he can in that way to destroy Obama's legacy. Right now, this means getting his own temporary wrecking crew of a man installed at the head of the CFBP. If he's successful, we'll all be worse off for it.
Helaine Olen: As Republicans slash taxes on rich, they don't bother renewing health insurance for kids (Washington Post)
Need proof the Republicans in Congress are prioritizing the desires of their donors over the needs of everyone else? Let's check in with the sorry saga of the federal Children's Health Insurance Program, better known as CHIP.
Carlos Aguilar: A Gringo's Guide to Coco (Slate)
If you're unfamiliar with Día de Muertos, a Mexican holiday dedicated to the remembrance of loved ones who have passed away, the idea that Pixar would create a kids' movie around it, no matter how charming it turned out to be, might sound odd. But Miguel's transformative adventure into the Land of the Dead in Coco aligns quite well with Mexican culture, which instills the rich traditions of the celebrations in us from an early age: …
Eddie Deezen: "Strawberry Fields Forever" John Lennon's Beatle Masterpiece (Neatorama)
In looking over John Lennon's finest compositions as a Beatle, choosing his greatest song is a rather tough assignment.
Daniel Canfield: How Charlie Brown Destroyed Aluminum Christmas Trees (Medium)
When Charlie Brown and Linus arrived at the tree lot, there were plenty of fancy aluminum trees for sale, but the only tree that catches his eye is a little sapling. It was also the only real tree on the lot. When he arrives back to the set of the play the girls started mocking him for choosing the ugly little tree. In a fit of frustration, he loudly asks if "anybody knows what Christmas is about?" Linus said that he did and then started quoting the Annunciation to the Shepherds from the Bible.
Tim Dowling: 24-hour Putin people: my week watching Kremlin 'propaganda channel' RT (The Guardian)
Formerly known as Russia Today, the channel gives airtime to pundits from left and right - many of them UK politicians. After a week watching its often surreal output, our writer asks himself: is this really the best Moscow can do?
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Michelle in AZ
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
Looks like there will be more empty chairs at their Christmas party. CNN refuses to play. And the racist asses have not invited a journalist they don't like. Janet shared the link:
from Marc Perkel
Marc's Guide to Curing Cancer
So far so good on beating cancer for now. I'm doing fine. At the end of the month I'll be 16 months into an 8 month mean lifespan. And yesterday I went on a 7 mile hike and managed to keep up with the hiking group I was with. So, doing something right.
Still waiting for future test results and should see things headed in the right direction. I can say that it's not likely that anything dire happens in the short term so that means that I should have time to make several more attempts at this. So even if it doesn't work the first time there are a lot of variations to try. So if there's bad news it will help me pick the next radiation target.
I have written a "how to" guide for oncologists to perform the treatment that I got. I'm convinced that I'm definitely onto something and whether it works for me or not isn't the definitive test. I know if other people tried this that it would work for some of them, and if they improve it that it will work for a lot of them.
The guide is quite detailed and any doctor reading this can understand the procedure at every level. I also go into detail as to how it works, how I figured it out, and variations and improvements that could be tried to enhance it. I also introduce new ways to look at the problem. There is a lot of room for improvement and I think that doctors reading it will see what I'm talking about and want to build on it. And it's written so that if you're not a doctor you can still follow it. It also has a personal story revealing that I'm the class clown of cancer support group. I give great interviews and I look pretty hot in a lab coat.
So, feel free to read this and see what I'm talking about. But if any of you want to help then pass this around to both doctors and cancer patients. I need some media coverage. I'm looking for as many eyeballs as possible to read these ideas. Even if this isn't the solution, it's definitely on the right track. After all, I did hike 7 miles yesterday. And this hiking group wasn't moving slow. So if this isn't working then, why am I still here?
I also see curing cancer as more of an engineering problem that a medical problem. So if you are good at solving problems and most of what you know about medicine was watching the Dr. House MD TV show, then you're at the level I was at when I started. So anyone can jump in and be part of the solution.
Here is a link to my guide: Oncologists Guide to Curing Cancer using Abscopal Effect
from that Mad Cat, JD
THE RETURN OF HERBERT HOOVER.
THE WHITE EXPERT SPEAKS OUT.
THE DUMFOUNDING FATHER.
"GOD FORGIVE THEM…"
'YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.'
SANTA AT THE WHITE HOUSE.
RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA!
WELCOME TO A VERY EVIL CHRISTMAS.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Sunny days but the nights are getting close to cold.
Foreign Visitors Fall Sharply
The number of international visitors to the United States through June fell sharply from last year, according to government data released Wednesday.
And the number of business travelers fell by much more than the drop in tourists, according to the monthly report from the Commerce Departments National Travel and Tourism Office.
Total foreign visitors fell four percent compared to the first six months of last year, with travelers from Mexico down more than nine percent and from Britain down six percent, but visits from Canada up nearly five percent.
Excluding Canada and Mexico, overseas visitors fell nearly six percent, but business travel dropped nearly nine percent compared to a 5.6 percent decline in tourists.
Visits from the Middle East plunged 30 percent in the first half of the year, and from Africa dropped 27 percent. There also were double-digit declines in visitors from South and Central America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.
Feds Use James O'Keefe Video In Felony Trial
Trump Inauguration Protesters
A Justice Department prosecutor pursuing felony convictions for six of the hundreds of individuals arrested during President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) inauguration successfully introduced to a jury on Tuesday a video of a protest planning meeting that was secretly recorded by a controversial organization run by conservative activist James O'Keefe (R-Fake News).
The video, shot by an affiliate of O'Keefe's Project Veritas, shows a Jan. 8 meeting in a church basement in northwest Washington. It was shown to the jury during Tuesday's testimony of Officer Bryan Adelmeyer of the Metropolitan Police Department, who went undercover to suss out protesters' plans for Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20.
The Project Veritas video may play a key role in a trial that could determine the fate of an additional 181 defendants still facing trials on several felony counts over the course of the next year. More than 200 people, including numerous journalists, were arrested en masse after windows were smashed in downtown Washington before the inauguration. One defendant pleaded guilty to felony rioting charges, and 19 others have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts. Seven additional defendants who initially faced felonies are now scheduled to face trial on misdemeanor charges next month.
A total of 187 defendants, including the six currently on trial, have pending felony charges, with prosecutors alleging they were part of a conspiracy that resulted in extensive property damage and should therefore be held responsible for the actions of the other individuals they were arrested with. So far, prosecutors have not alleged that any of the six defendants on trial individually caused any destruction but instead argued that they enabled those who did. One of the defendants is a photographerwho had taken an interest in covering demonstrations throughout the United States.
Critics have long
accused proved Project Veritas of deceptive practices. Hours before the video was played in D.C. Superior Court, The Washington Post reported that a woman working with Project Veritas tried to convince the newspaper to print false allegations against Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore, who has been credibly accused by multiple women of pursuing relationships with them when he was a prosecutor in his 30s and they were teens. But videos filmed by Project Veritas, which sought to infiltrate groups planning to disrupt Trump's inauguration, have been used to secure at least one other conviction in a separate inauguration-related case.
Trump Inauguration Protesters
T-rump Excludes LGBTQ From Proclamation
World AIDS Day
President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Crooked) effort to commemorate those affected by HIV/AIDS this week seemed to overlook many affected by the epidemic.
"On this day, we pray for all those living with HIV, and those who have lost loved ones to AIDS," Trump wrote in a proclamation issued Thursday to commemorate World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
"As we remember those who have died and those who are suffering, we commend the immense effort people have made to control and end the HIV/AIDS epidemic," his statement continued.
World AIDS Day, first commemorated in 1988, aims to raise international awareness of the disease. An estimated 36.7 million people are living with HIV/AIDS around the world, with 1.1 million of those residing in the U.S.
Noticeably absent from the proclamation were any references to communities most at risk of HIV infection, including LGBTQ people and people of color. The omissions are perhaps more startling when given the statistics: In 2015, 48 percent of those diagnosed with AIDS in the U.S. were African-Americans. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control found that gay and bisexual men made an an estimated 70 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. Though data on the transgender community is limited, the CDC also found that an estimated 22 percent of all trans women are HIV positive.
World AIDS Day
Left Off White House Christmas Party Guest List
Black and LGBT Reporters
It was Thanksgiving day when Chris Johnson, the chief political and White House reporter for the Washington Blade, learned he hadn't been invited to the annual White House holiday party for the press.
Mr Johnson, a reporter for the nation's oldest LGBTQ paper, had attended every such party for the last seven years. He assumed this year's invitation hadn't gone out yet, until he heard other reporters discussing them over the Thanksgiving holiday.
He emailed the White House to enquire about his invitation, but was bounced between spokespeople. He never received an invitation, and never got an explanation as to why.
Mr Johnson is one of at least two long-time White House correspondents who were not invited to this year's event - a casual, off-the-record gathering for members of the administration and the press.
The other is April D Ryan, the White House correspondent and DC bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks. She has been invited to the party for the last 20 years.
Black and LGBT Reporters
Makes Fun Of Asian Leaders
President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Buffoon) somehow made time to mock Asian leaders, who hosted him on his recent trip, during a speech meant to promote GOP tax bills moving through Congress.
Trump, speaking to a crowd Wednesday in St. Charles, Missouri, diverged from his topic to say he'd advised several Asian leaders to boost their defense spending.
Trump even did his own imitation of the leaders, hunching his shoulders and looking around the room wide-eyed - a mocking gesture that seemed to imply that the officials did not comprehend his words.
"When I was in Asia, I spoke to a couple of the countries about it and they looked like this," Trump said, failing to call out any specific nations as he did his imitation. "You know what this is? Hmm, hmm. That means they know they're getting away with murder and they got to start helping us out. OK?"
Trump claimed during the speech that the U.S. has been protecting rich countries that fail to manage their wealth. He said one country he visited doesn't "know what to do with their money."
Women 'May Be Criminalizing Courtship'
After longtime "Today" show host Matt Lauer was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct, Fox "News" commentator Geraldo Rivera (R-Serial Adulterer) defended him, claiming that women who come forward with their sexual harassment experiences "may be criminalizing courtship."
Writing over Twitter on Wednesday that he feels "sad" about Lauer's termination, Rivera called the host a "great guy" who was "empathetic [with] guests" and "a real gentleman."
"News is a flirty business," he continued, later adding: "How do we explain so many newsroom courtships that have led to happy marriages?"
"It seems like [the] current epidemic of #SexualHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship [and] conflating it [with] predation," he wrote.
Rivera apologized and walked back his remarks late Wednesday night.
Satellite Closes In On Dark Matter Mystery
Scientists have detected cosmic ray energy readings that could bring them closer to proving the existence of dark matter, a mysterious substance believed to comprise a quarter of our universe, a study revealed on Thursday.
Likely made up of unknown sub-atomic material, dark matter is invisible to telescopes and can be perceived only through its gravitational pull on other objects in the universe.
Beijing's first astronomical satellite launched two years ago detected 1.5 million cosmic ray electrons and protons, the study said, and unprecedented measurements found curiously low-energy rays.
The team of researchers from China, Switzerland and Italy, who published their first results in the journal Nature, said the data may cast light on "the annihilation or decay of particle dark matter".
The Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) is now collecting more data from space to help researchers figure out what it could be.
Destroying The Oceans
Anyone who's ever been on the receiving end of a glitter-filled birthday card or spent more than an hour in an arts-and-crafts shop knows just how annoying glitter can be. It sticks to everything and is impossible to pick off clothing or even your skin, and now scientists are warning that mother nature is just as averse to the sparkly stuff as we are.
Citing the tiny bits of shiny plastic as a huge environmental hazard, glitter is now in the crosshairs of both scientists and government agencies who want to outright ban it, and their case is quite strong.
One of the places where the effects of glitter are felt most severely is in the oceans. Plastic waste - bottles, packaging, and even toys and other objects - regularly find their way into the oceans thanks to mankind's inability to handle its own trash.
Over time the plastics break up into smaller pieces, turning a single chunk of plastic into many smaller pieces called "microplastics" that fish, birds, and other marine creatures accidentally gobble up. Countless studies have revealed manmade plastics in the guts of dead birds and fish, and the problem is seemingly getting worse. But where does glitter fit in?
Well, glitter is, by its very nature, a microplastic. It's manufactured to be tiny, shiny, and because it's made of various types of plastic it's also extremely long lasting. When glitter finds its way into lakes, rivers, and eventually the ocean, it does just as much damage as any other microplastic but is even harder to clean up.
Eggs Reveal Early Life Insights
Scientists have peered inside the largest collection of fossilized pterosaur eggs ever found, using 3D scans to reveal new insights into these flying cousins of dinosaurs, researchers said Thursday.
Pterosaurs were reptiles, and the first creatures -- after insects -- to evolve powered flight, meaning they flapped their wings to stay aloft instead of simply jumping and gliding. They went extinct along with the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago.
Until now, scientists had found some pterosaur eggs with remains inside, including three in Argentina and five in China.
But the latest report in the peer-reviewed US journal Science is based on the biggest collection to date -- 215 fossilized eggs that were found in a three-meter (yard) long sandstone block in northwestern China's Hami City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Sixteen of the eggs contained fossilized remains of a pterosaur species known as Hamipterus tianshanensis.
Jim Nabors, whose name is synonymous with the genial bumpkin Gomer Pyle, whom he played on TV, has died. He was 87.
His husband, Stan Cadwallader, told the Associated Press that Nabors died on Thursday at their home in Hawaii.
He brought the words "golly" and "shazam" into the vernacular as the naive, well-intentioned Pyle, a regular character on "The Andy Griffith Show" that was later the focus of spinoff "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." Pyle was a loving caricature of a Southern rube, completely out of step with the '60s and all the more lovable for it. The series ran for four seasons, and Nabors' 20% cut of the syndication revenue for the popular series made him financially secure thereafter and able to pursue broader interests as a singer and comic raconteur.
Nabors was discovered singing at the Horn cabaret in Santa Monica by writer-comedian Bill Dana, who booked Nabors for occasional stints on "The Steve Allen Show."
Although it was too late to ever completely dissociate himself from Gomer Pyle, Nabors decided to end the series in 1969, while it was still rated in the top five. He hosted variety program "The Jim Nabors Hour" for two seasons on CBS and, in the late '70s, tried it again in syndication, though "The Jim Nabors Show" was more of a combination comedy/talk program.
Film roles were few, mostly cameo and supporting appearances in three Burt Reynolds vehicles, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," "Stroker Ace" and "Cannonball Run II."
Nabors recorded more than two dozen albums. At least four were certified gold by the RIAA, the most recent of which was "Jim Nabors Christmas Album" in 1990.
James Thurston Nabors was born in Sylacauga, Ala. Chronic asthma resulted in a childhood of forced seclusion, and after graduation from the U. of Alabama, he lived for a time in New York, working as a typist at the United Nations. The recurring asthma problems forced him to return home, where he worked as an assistant film editor for a television station in Chattanooga, Tenn., and also sang occasionally on the station's daytime shows.
Nabors converted to Catholicism in the mid-'60s.
He married his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, in Washington in 2013 a month after gay marriage became legal in that state.
In addition to Cadwallader, he is survived by two sisters, Freddie and Ruth.