Dahlia Lithwick: The President Is Not Fit for Office (Slate)
All you can do about it is vote.
Jordan Weissman: It Turns Out That Saving CHIP Would Save the Government $6 Billion (Slate)
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that reauthorizing CHIP for 5 years would cost the federal government a mere $800 million. That's quite cheap in the scheme of all federal spending, of course. But today, the CBO sent Capitol Hill staffers an email stating that extending the program for 10 years would actually save $6 billion over the decade, which an aide forwarded to me this afternoon (on the condition of anonymity, which was granted)
Josh Marshall: Thoughts on the Greatness of Ulysses S. Grant (TPM)
Clarity is simply taking the meaning in the writer's head and conveying it as clearly as possible in words. This kind of directness is the power and force driving Grant's memoirs. They are important to read because what he describes is incredibly important - in national terms, in military terms, in terms of everything that is and was involved in the Civil War. We also get a clear sense of the man. How did he come to this? I think he tells us, albeit obliquely, perhaps even not entirely consciously (though that lack of awareness I tend to doubt.)
Josh Marshall: The Only News Out of The Simpson Testimony is Republican Disgrace (TPM)
Really though this is a testament to the power of disinformation when it is empowered by one of the country's two political parties. Let's put this more simply: this is a testament to what can happen when the GOP unites behind a campaign of willful disinformation at the country's expense.
Matthew Yglesias: conservative theory on Trump and Russia (Vox)
The FBI was already investigating potential links between Donald Trump's campaign and the Russian government before they heard anything about Christopher Steele's famous dossier on the matter. That's the key takeaway from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson's extensive testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, released Tuesday by ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) over the objections of her Republican colleagues.
David Kamp: "The Breakfast Club: Smells Like Teen Realness" (Criterion)
"You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Correct?" The first spoken passage in The Breakfast Club, heard in voice-over, is a recitation by Anthony Michael Hall's character, Brian Johnson, of the letter he has composed on behalf of his fellow Saturday detainees at Shermer High School. As that barbed "Correct?" indicates, there's some defiance in this tidy taxonomy of teendom, a middle finger to the letter's recipient, Mr. Vernon (Paul Gleason), the cloddish, unfeeling grown-up who holds the group captive throughout the film. How dare he define us kids with such simplistic, reductive labels! Still, these labels have their use.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
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
IT'S A START.
LET OUR PENGUINS GO!
WE MAY GET LUCKY
"I'VE COME TO CASH A CHECK."
THE BLACK RACIST ON THE COURT.
THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE ROOM.
"ESPIONAGE. THAT'S A COMPUTER CRIME."
"…ABSURDIST. ORWELLIAN PERFORMANCE ART."
THE PAPER TIGERS.
THE DANGEROUS 'POOTIE POOT'.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
When I was a kid saw part of an episode of 'Bonanza' about Hoss and some Leprechauns.
Got sent to bed before the episode wrapped, so for years, everytime I found an episode of 'Bonanza', had to see if it was the one about Hoss & the little people.
After a 57-year wait, thanks to Me-TV finally got to the see the whole episode!
National Board of Review Gala
Robert De Niro
The dresses had a little more color, but the National Board of Review's 2018 Awards gala - honoring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele and "The Post," among other creators and projects - continued the charged, often political awards-season conversations begun at the Golden Globes on Jan. 7.
NBR's annual awards ceremony, the winners of which were previously announced, got off to a speedy, focused start, but it didn't take long for the events of the last year, from #MeToo to the Trump presidency, to come up.
Robert De Niro proved the most direct in his introduction of Meryl Streep, who was picking up the best actress award for her performance in Stephen Spielberg's "The Post." De Niro encouraged applause for an off-hand dismissal of Trump. "Let's clap for that," he said. "This f-ing idiot is the president. It's 'The Emperor's New Clothes.' The guy is a f-ing fool. Come on." He went on to call the president the "jerk-off in chief."
"If only Bob wouldn't hold back," Streep joked to the tightly packed, starry crowd at midtown Manhattan's Cipriani 42, before issuing a plea to a Hollywood community grappling with sexual harassment. "How much we really need to trust each other - I don't want that to go away," she said. "Because that's where art lies. Right on the edge."
Meanwhile, Julianna Margulies put the success of "Wonder Woman" in a wideview lens as she introduced Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins to receive the Spotlight award for the film. "So 2017 was a noteworthy year in our industry, for women especially," Margulies said. "It was challenging, enlightening and empowering. We found our voices and we spoke up, loud and clear. We found the courage to stand together and initiate a transformation. One of the early indicators of this changing tide was the unprecedented success of a film starring a woman, directed by a woman."
Robert De Niro
Feminists and one of the women who accused fallen Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape turned on French actress Catherine Deneuve Wednesday after she signed an open letter attacking the #MeToo movement for leading a witch-hunt against men.
France's legendary star Deneuve and some 100 other women put their names to a declaration condemning the avalanche of "denunciations" that has followed claims that the Hollywood producer sexually assaulted women over decades.
But Italian actress Asia Argento, who was among the first to accuse Weinstein, led a backlash, tweeting: "Deneuve and other French women tell the world how their interiorised misogyny has lobotomised them to the point of no return."
A group of leading French feminists also excoriated Deneuve in a counterblast letter to French radio, branding her and the other signatories as "apologists for rape".
To say that #MeToo was puritanical and driven by a "hatred of men" was "contemptuous" of the victims of abuse and harassment, the feminists insisted, accusing the signatories of trying to "slam back the lid" blown off by the Weinstein scandal.
World's Largest Prime Number
Jon Pace, a longtime FedEx employee, has loved math since high school. Today, he's a flight operations finance manager with the Memphis-based delivery behemoth-and is also now credited with discovering the largest prime number currently known. It's a whopping 23.2 million digits long.
In case your math knowledge needs a refresher, a number is prime when it can only be divided by an integer that is itself or the number one. So five is a prime number, but six is not. There will be a quiz tomorrow, so please pay attention.
Pace first became interested in searching for primes back in 2003, when he read an article about the discovery of the 40th known Mersenne prime- a special kind of prime number, and a rare, numerical creature. Mersenne primes are expressed through a formula: 2P - 1, in which P is also a prime number. Pace's discovery is only the 50th known Mersenne prime. It's expressed as 277,232,917 - 1. Since it's a Mersenne, that 77.2 million number is also prime. Anyway, you get it. It's a very long prime number.
To be fair, Pace didn't discover this enormous string of digits by sitting down with a calculator and scratch pad. He also didn't employ a massive supercomputer. Actually, a computer at his church did the hard work. Pace is a deacon at the Germantown Church of Christ in Tennessee, where he built their desktops and handles the computer network administration. It was a program that Pace had installed on one of the minister's computers that was automatically assigned to check this specific prime number candidate, and after working for six days, it figured out that this huge number was in fact prime. (That machine was just one of over a dozen he was using for the search.)
The software is a free download from mersenne.org, part of a project called the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, or GIMPS.
A California couple arrested in Nebraska last month for carrying 60 pounds of marijuana they described as family Christmas gifts have again been arrested in Nebraska, this time on suspicion of carrying drug money.
Patrick Jiron, 80, and his 70-year-old wife, Barbara, both of Clear Lake Oaks, California, were arrested Tuesday along Interstate 80 in southeastern Nebraska, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. They were arrested last month along the same roadway - in the same vehicle - just two counties west.
Lancaster County sheriff's officials said the couple were passengers in a pickup truck that was stopped Tuesday on suspicion of following another vehicle too closely. A deputy said a search of the truck turned up a duffel bag carrying $18,000 in cash, an oversized garbage bag with raw marijuana residue inside it and notes consistent with marijuana sales.
A 42-year-old woman driving the truck was not arrested, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Instead, she was given a warning for the traffic violation and released, he said. Wagner did not know her relationship to the Jirons.
"The Jirons bonded out of jail," Wagner said. He did not know whether they were required to put up any money to bond out. Online court documents don't list an attorney for the Jirons.
The Nevada rancher accused of leading an armed standoff that stopped federal agents from rounding up his cattle in 2014 walked out of a courthouse in Las Vegas a free and defiant man Monday, declaring that his fight against U.S. authority is not over.
Cliven Bundy emerged to supporters' cheers, while environmental and conservation advocates worried that the dismissal of his charges would bolster "violent and racist anti-government" followers who aim to erode established parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands controlled by U.S. officials.
"We're not done with this," the 71-year-old Bundy declared in his first minutes of freedom since his arrest in February 2016.
The family patriarch and states' rights figure said he had been held as a political prisoner for 700 days and promised that if U.S. Bureau of Land Management agents come again to seize his cattle over unpaid grazing fees, they will encounter "the very same thing as last time."
The stunning collapse of the federal criminal case against Cliven Bundy and his sons Ryan and Ammon marked a new low for government lawyers whose work is now under review by the Trump administration. Prosecutors have faced several losses in Oregon and Nevada arising from armed Bundy standoffs over federal control of vast stretches of land in the U.S. West.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's name has appeared in an Ecuadorean government database of citizen identification numbers, fuelling speculation that he may have received citizenship from the Andean country.
Assange has been holed up for more than five years in the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he was granted asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations.
Swedish prosecutors in May dropped their investigation into the rape allegations, but British police have said Assange would still be arrested if he left the embassy.
Reuters found an entry for "Julian Paul Assange" in Ecuador's Civil Registry, which only includes Ecuadorean citizens. A spokeswoman for the registry declined to comment when asked if Assange had been granted citizenship.
Following reports of the news in Ecuadorean media on Wednesday, Assange tweeted a photo of himself wearing the jersey of Ecuador's national soccer team. Neither he nor his lawyers responded to requests for comment.
Sodalitium Christianae Vitae
The Vatican on Wednesday took over a Peru-based Catholic movement whose founder was accused of sexually, physically and psychologically abusing his members, just days before Pope Francis starts a trip to Chile and Peru where the church's sexual abuse scandal is expected to play out.
A Vatican statement said the congregation for religious orders had issued a decree naming a commissioner to take over the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a conservative movement that has some 20,000 members and chapters throughout South America and the U.S.
The move came just weeks after Peruvian prosecutors announced they were seeking the arrest of Sodalitium's founder, Luis Figari, who an independent investigation concluded was a paranoid narcissist obsessed with sex and watching his underlings endure pain and humiliation.
Francis is expected to contend with the abuse scandal in his home continent for the first time during the Jan. 15-21 trip, with protests planned and recent revelations in Chile about the growing scandal there. On Wednesday, the online database BishopAccountability.org released research showing 78 priests or members of religious orders had been credibly accused or convicted in Chile.
In Peru, a journalist and former member of the society began publicly accusing Figari of abuse in 2010. The case languished in Lima and the Vatican for years until a book was published in 2015 detailing the twisted ways Figari would humiliate his members. While Figari was never charged, many of the allegations against him were eventually confirmed by a Vatican inquiry. Figari was ordered to cut contact with members of the society last year, and has been living in Rome ever since.
Sodalitium Christianae Vitae
Ancient Desert Society
Archaeologists have discovered two chambers used for political ceremonies on Peru's desert coast more than 1,500 years ago that had previously only been glimpsed in the illustrations of the ancient Moche people, an archaeologist said on Monday.
The finding, at the ruins of the Limon archaeological complex in the region of Lambayeque, will provide key clues to understanding the Moche's political life before the desert society's sudden decline, said lead archaeologist Walter Alva.
One room features two thrones where a powerful leader and guest likely enjoyed elaborate feasts, said Alva. The other has a circular podium, possibly for making announcements.
The events that took place in the chambers were so important they had been featured repeatedly on Moche ceramics, Alva said.
The Moche, one of several complex societies that thrived in Peru long before the rise of the Incan empire, ruled over a vast swath of coastal desert from 100 to 700 AD, thanks to irrigation canals they built to grow crops in desert valleys. The Moche are known for their elaborate gold work and sculptures featuring a wide variety of sexual acts.
More Ancient Than Flowers
Butterfly beak. Moth mouthpiece. Lepidoptera lips.
Call it whatever you want, the proboscis is a big deal. It's a defining feature of many moths and butterflies - the long, flexible mouthpiece that dips into flowers and draws out nectar.
"The traditional idea is always [that] this proboscis - this butterfly tongue - is a standard adaptation you have when you feed on flowers," says Timo van Eldijk, a researcher at Utrecht University in the Netherlands who is an author of a new study in Science Advances that upends traditional ideas about the proboscis.
"What we found is that there were moths and butterflies with a proboscis that were already around way before there is evidence of flowering plants," he says.
The discovery hinges on fossils recovered from German soil cores - the oldest fossils of their kind. Butterfly and moth remains are rarely fossilized, in part because they're delicate. But van Eldijk, a masters student, found he could isolate fossils of the microscopic scales that coat insects' wings and bodies. The tiny scales also give butterflies their colors.