Paul Krugman: Trump's Deadly Narcissism (NY Times)
The president strokes his ego while Americans suffer and die.
Josh Marshall: There Is No GOP Establishment or Base. Just Massive Resistance. (TPM)
That is disastrous for Democrats and the country. But it doesn't change the essential dynamic of early 21st century conservatism, an infinite loop of inflammatory and engaging promises, claims and demands which are mostly entirely unrealizable, creating a permanent cycle of establishmentism and grassroots' betrayal which continues spinning forward even as the players in each category change.
Suzanne Moore: The protesting NFL players, not Donald Trump, are the true patriots (The Guardian)
The president can call for players to be disciplined if he wants, but with their superb and poignant gesture they are not the ones disrespecting the US.
Suzanne Moore: I called Hugh Hefner a pimp, he threatened to sue. But that's what he was(The Guardian)
Now that he's dead, the old sleaze in the Playboy mansion is being spoken of as some kind of liberator of women. Quite the opposite.
Dan Piepenbring: A Secret History of the Pissing Figure in Art (New Yorker)
Look at "Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin," a fifteenth-century portrait by Rogier van der Weyden, and you'll notice two figures in the middle distance, lingering at the crenellations in the courtyard. One gestures in faint surprise; somebody has captured their attention. It's not Luke the Evangelist, the Virgin Mother, or even the infant Christ. It's a faraway man who has stopped to piss on a high wall.
Suzanne Moore: Kathy Acker showed it takes blood, guts and smarts to be a female artist (The Guardian)
I always admired the US writer for her mythology as an outlaw and sexual adventurer. Chris Kraus's biography reminds us how hard the avant garde has been for women.
Just Kids by Patti Smith (The Guardian)
Edmund White on a memoir that captures all the elements that made New York in the 1970s so exciting.
Move over, Nelson! These are the statues modern Britain needs (The Guardian)
… we make the case for people ranging from David Attenborough and JK Rowling to Peter Tatchell and Britain's first Asian MP.
Jonathan Jones: Basquiat review - the hungry chronicler of broken America (The Guardian)
If the brilliantly promising artist whose paintings delight and dazzle the eye and mind in this retrospective were still alive, he'd be celebrating his 57th birthday come December. What kind of middle-aged artist might Jean-Michel Basquiat make? It's hard to imagine him getting any older than 27, the age when drugs took his life. It is like trying to picture a Van Gogh who never shot himself, a Keats who recovered from tuberculosis and lived to be poet laureate.
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Michelle in AZ
Hurricanes (tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods) happen every stinking year. We don't know when; we don't know where they'll hit; we don't know how many there will be or how severe they will be. But they WILL happen. Every. Single. Year.
Why is it that Republican presidents have to be shamed into responding appropriately?
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
TRUMP IS JONESING.
THE GENOCIDAL MANIAC.
ONE MORE OUT THE DOOR.
NFL STADIUMS WILL BE FEMA DEATH CAMPS.
A GOOD ARAB.
"BUT HER E-MAILS…"
WHERE ARE THEY?
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Keep thinking I should invest in Kleenex stock.
Not Happy With James Cameron
That whole James Cameron vs Wonder Woman debate has picked up again - and this time, the original Diana Prince has had her say.
The famed director has not exactly held back in his opinions of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman (the most successful superhero origin movie ever), calling it a "step backwards".
Arguing that the film celebrated "an objectified icon", Cameron continued to stick to his guns this week, insisting that Gal Gadot's incarnation is "not breaking ground".
Now, original Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter has brandished her lasso of truth and advised "poor soul" James Cameron to just stop talking. Please.
"To James Cameron -STOP dissing WW: You poor soul," she wrote. "Perhaps you do not understand the character. I most certainly do. Like all women--we are more than the sum of our parts.
Calling on her inner-Amazonian, she added: "I have embodied this character for more than 40 years. So--STOP IT."
Black Students Told to 'Go Home'
Air Force Academy
The U.S. Air Force Academy is currently investigating an incident of racial slurs written on the dormitory message boards of five black cadets at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School earlier this week.
Lieutenant Colonel Allen Heritage, director of public affairs for the academy, told Air Force Times the slurs were discovered Monday after one of the cadet's mother's posted a photo to Facebook on Wednesday that shows a white board with the words "go home n***** on it. The post has since been removed.
"This is why I'm so hurt!" the mother said. "These young people are supposed to bond and protect each other and the country. Who would my son have to watch out for? The enemy or the enemy?"
Lieutenant General Jay Silveria, superintendent of the academy released a statement Thursday condemning the slurs. "There is absolutely no place in our Air Force for racism," Silveria said. "It's not who we are, nor will we tolerate it in any shape or fashion. The Air Force Academy strives to create a climate of dignity and respect for all.... Period.... Those who don't understand that are behind the power curve and better catch up."
Air Force Academy
Debris Carried New Species to U.S.
March 11, 2011, had started like any other for thousands of mussels along the Japanese coastline, another busy day clinging to docks and straining snacks out of the water. Until 2:46 p.m. local time, that is, when two warring chunks of the Earth's crust set off six minutes of ground-shattering quakes, then a series of gigantic waves powerful enough to crush three-story buildings and rip docks off their coastlines.
That's when those mussels set off on an incredible adventure across the Pacific Ocean. In the six years since the tsunami, debris has landed all along the western coast of North America and on the beaches of Hawaii. And according to a new study of the tsunami's aftermath published today in Science, just a small sample of that debris-much of it plastic-has carried living individuals of almost 300 species.
The long trail of rafting debris means that hundreds of species are getting the chance to stake out a foothold in new ecosystems. Scientists have known for a long time that species hitch rides on logs, but it's usually incredibly difficult to actually track a piece of debris from take-off to landing. "Nobody has ever witnessed these events," says Martin Thiel, an ecologist who studies species movement at the Universidad Catolica del Norte in Chile and who wasn't involved with the study. "This is really the first large-scale event that we are basically witnessing as it unfolds."
That's because the tsunami debris has generally been relatively easy to identify. In many cases, an entire dock or boat washed ashore, complete with registration numbers or other identifying information the scientists were able to verify with the Japanese government. The team examined 634 pieces of debris, all believed to stem from the tsunami.
Then, they tallied the animals each piece was carrying, aided by a network of 80 scientists from around the globe who identified species. The team also noted which were alive-critters from 289 species, all told. Those aren't necessarily creatures that made the whole journey, they may also be descendents born on the voyage.
Scientists Explore Earth's 'Lost Continent'
Scientists are learning more about Zealandia, the submerged "lost continent" that lies beneath the ocean surrounding New Zealand, after drilling deep into the landmass during a research expedition.
One of their main discoveries is that Zealandia, which currently lies about two-thirds of a mile below the ocean surface, was not always that far down, according to the National Science Foundation, which supported the expedition. The scientists know that because of the fossils that came up with the sediment they had drilled - certain marine creatures will live only at specific depths, so the existence of their remains speaks to how far beneath the surface the landmass was at the time the creatures lived.
"More than 8,000 specimens were studied, and several hundred fossil species were identified," co-chief scientist Jerry Dickens, from Rice University, said in the NSF statement. "The discovery of microscopic shells of organisms that lived in warm shallow seas, and of spores and pollen from land plants, reveal that the geography and climate of Zealandia were dramatically different in the past."
The scientists aboard the ship JOIDES Resolution drilled thousands of feet of sediment cores - samples whose vertically stacked layers represent deeper and deeper dives into the history of the planet and thus can show experts how conditions like climate and volcanic activity evolved over time. The drilling went deep enough to reach 70 million years into the past, shortly after Zealandia separated from Antarctica and then Australia. With the exception of the islands of New Zealand, it is now underwater and covered in mud.
Their work was done through International Ocean Discovery Program, in which scientists from multiple countries explore the seafloor, drilling down and sampling sediment in an effort to learn more about Earth's history. The team hopes to learn more about the past movement of tectonic plates and changes in climate. According to the NSF, Zealandia could provide more climate data that could be used in computer models to predict how climates will change in the future, since those models rely on historical patterns for their forecasts.
ICE Arrests Nearly 500 In Massive Crackdown
President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Crooked) administration ramped up its crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities this week when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out nationwide detention raids, arresting 498 people from 42 different counties for alleged violations of federal immigration laws.
The operation, dubbed "Safe City," targeted undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, gang affiliations or those who have fled and re-entered the country following a previous deportation, the agency said on Thursday.
Around one-third of those rounded up had no criminal record. Among those with convictions, driving under the influence was the most common crime.
This raids are part of an effort by Trump to crack down on illegal immigration, and on sanctuary cities in particular, that began his first week in office, when he signed an executive order kicking off plans to build a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border. A second order, which threatened to withhold federal funding for sanctuary cities, was later blockedin federal court.
In Trump's first 100 days in office, ICE arrested nearly 40 percent more people than during the same period the previous year.
Faces Largely Silent Protest At Harvard
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (R-Blackwater) was confronted by largely silent protesters holding signs opposing the Trump administration's promotion of for-profit schools and changes to how colleges handle sex assault allegations at a speech at Harvard University on Thursday.
DeVos ignored the protesters, but took questions from audience members on issues, including a White House move to reverse Obama-era guidance on how colleges should handle allegations of sexual assault on campus.
More than a dozen protesters stood in the crowd holding signs reading "protect survivors," and "our students are not 4 sale." Many others stood or sat with raised fists.
As the event wrapped up and DeVos headed for the exit, the crowd broke into loud chants, including: "This is what white supremacy looks like!"
DeVos, a billionaire who has drawn fire for her advocacy of for-profit schools, is married to the heir and former chief executive of Amway. She was confirmed in February when Vice President Mike Pence (R-Human Q-Tip) cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.
Russians Targeted Black Lives Matter
A post written by the social media giant's chief security officer Alex Stamos said the adverts were mostly focused on promoting disunity rather than attacking or promoting any particular candidates and around 25 per cent were geographically targeted.
But now it has emerged that of these geographically targeted adverts, some were destined for audiences in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland, which have been the scene of major riots over the death of black people at the hands of police officers in recent years.
The adverts were presented as Facebook posts which appeared to support the movement but in a way that implied the group was a potential threat to residents in Baltimore and Ferguson, CNN reported.
Other posts in the cache of advertising released by Facebook, from a period between June 2015 and May 2017, show the Russian adverts supported a range of right-wing causes associated with Donald Trump's campaign, such as gun rights and claiming that American democracy was under threat from the millions of illegal immigrants from Central and South America who are currently living in the US.
First Brutal Review
President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Self-Serving) new tax plan may result in the richest getting richer and the middle class eventually seeing a slight tax increase, a study released Friday found.
In an initial analysis of the nine-page framework for tax reform, the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution's Tax Policy Center found that Americans among the top 1% of earners would see the bulk of the plan's benefits, while lower- and middle-class Americans - even most upper-class people - would see few benefits.
"Taxpayers in the bottom 95 percent of the income distribution would see average after-tax incomes increase between 0.5 and 1.2 percent," the TPC's report said. "Taxpayers in the top 1 percent (incomes above $730,000), would receive about 50 percent of the total tax benefit; their after-tax income would increase an average of 8.5 percent."
But the top 0.1% of income earners (those making above $3.43 million) would get a tax break of $722,510 on average, or a decrease of 6.8 percentage points.
The TPC estimated that in later years, the middle class would shoulder more of the load of the tax plan.
The Last Thing Comet Probe Saw
Robotic comet explorer Rosetta sent home a last-gasp photo of her target's rocky facade before crashing into its surface to end a 12-year deep-space odyssey, ground controllers said Thursday.
Almost a year to the day since Rosetta's demise on September 30 last year, the European Space Agency (ESA) issued the fuzzy image of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, pieced together from the final bursts of data relayed by the orbiter.
The image of a one-square-metre (3.3 foot by 3.3 foot) section of comet presumed to be Rosetta's boulder-strewn, dusty resting place, was taken from a distance of about 20 metres.
"There was one last surprise in store," for the team who operated the cameras on board Rosetta, said an ESA statement.
The image had been sent in six separate packets of data, but only three were received. It was just enough to be reconstituted by mission scientists on Earth, though not as crisp as it would otherwise have been.
Anne Jeffreys, an actress whose career spanned the Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald era through a decades-long run into the 2000s as General Hospital's snobbiest socialite, has died. She was 94.
In addition to General Hospital, Jeffreys is probably best known to TV audiences for her co-starring role, with husband Robert Sterling, in Topper, CBS' 1953-55 ghostly romantic comedy. She appeared in numerous Republic Studios and R.K.O pictures in the 1940s, including Flying Tigers with John Wayne, Step Lively with Frank Sinatra. She played Tess Trueheart in 1945's Dick Tracy.
The actress also had a prolific stage and musical career, singing Tosca at the Brooklyln Opera House, My Romance on Broadway, and Kiss Me Kate in Los Angeles and New York, all in the '40s. It was during her New York run of Kate that she met and married fellow Broadway actor Sterling (Jeffreys' first, brief marriage had been annulled). The couple were married until Sterling's death in 2006. They had three sons.
Other TV credits included Bonanza, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Falcon Crest, L.A. Law, Baywatch, Battlestar Galactica, Port Charles and, in her final appearance, HBO's Getting On. She first played her General Hospital character, the rich and snooty Amanda Barrington, in 1984, and continued in prominent storylines through the 1990s. Her final appearance on the show was in 2004, and in 2013 the character's off-screen death was revealed.