DAHLIA LITHWICK and DAVID S. COHEN: Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans (NY Times)
On Monday, members of the Electoral College will vote in Donald J. Trump as president. Though he lost the election by nearly three million votes and almost daily generates headlines about new scandals, the Democratic Party is doing little to stop him. If you've been asking yourself "Where are the Democrats?" you're not alone.
Lindy West: "How to survive 2017: believe in protest, barricade your uterus and tax yourself" (The Guardian)
Every year we declare the outgoing year to have been the worst ever. This time we may finally be right - but there are a few things we can do about it.
LAUREN FOX AND TIERNEY SNEED: Wha!? GOP Now Claims Obamacare Doesn't Really Affect THAT Many People (TPM)
This reduction in rhetorical scope is striking, given the language Republicans used to denounce the Affordable Care Act for the last six years. "Obamacare is a malignant tumor that feeds and metastasizes on American liberty," Rep. Steve King (R-IA) once said of the law.
Stuart Heritage: Hollywood's obsession with biopics must be stopped before we get Madonna The Movie (The Guardian)
The annual list of the best unmade screenplays suggests we're in for another year filled with films based on real lives. Does anyone want to see the Trump and Madonna on the big screen?
Bruce Cole: UNABASHED ELITISM (Claremont Review of Books)
Robert Hughes didn't mince words: "On the morning of February 25, 1970, Mark Rothko's body was found in his studio in New York. He had done a thorough job of killing himself… He lay fat and exsanguinated, clad in long underwear and black socks, in the middle of a lake of blood."
Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE: 11 Simple Ways to Start Clean Eating Today (Authority Nutrition)
Clean eating focuses on choosing fresh foods that have been minimally processed and retain their nutritional value. This way of eating can help you learn to appreciate the natural flavors of foods, as they were meant to be consumed. In addition, it's a lifestyle that can help support the health of people, animals and the planet.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Bryan V. Suggests
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET.
DANCING WITH THE DOPE.
IF YOU'RE WHITE IT'S ALRIGHT.
THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME.
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STOP ACTING STUPID!
"MIKE PENCE DOMINIONIST"
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In The Chaos Household
Supposed to rain tomorrow.
National Film Registry
While not usually regarded as a golden age of American cinema, the 1980s produced plenty of popular classics - and a few more of them have now been added to the prestigious National Film Registry.
The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that "The Breakfast Club," ''The Princess Bride" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" are among the 25 movies tapped for preservation this year. They join three other more obscure 1980s titles on this year's list.
The national library also picked a few more recent favorites, including "Thelma & Louise," Disney's "The Lion King" and "Rushmore."
"Rushmore" (1998) is the first movie from whimsical auteur Wes Anderson to be added and is one of just a handful of films to be selected fewer than 20 years after its release. Movies must be at least 10 years old to be included.
This year's other '80s selections are "The Atomic Cafe" (1982), a compilation of clips about the threat of nuclear war; "The Decline of Western Civilization," director Penelope Spheeris' 1981 documentary about the hardcore punk rock scene in Los Angeles; and "Suzanne, Suzanne", a 1982 documentary short about a black woman's struggles with addiction.
National Film Registry
Sells For 21 Million Euros
Chinese Imperial Seal
An 18th-century Chinese imperial seal sold for 21 million euros in Paris Wednesday -- more than 20 times its estimate, the Drouot auction house told AFP.
Decorated with stylised dragons, the symbol of imperial authority, the extremely rare stamp in red and beige nephrite jade comes from the Qianlong period (1736-1795).
It was snapped up by an unnamed Chinese collector after a furious bidding battle between would-be telephone buyers and those in the salesroom.
The seal belonged to the Emperor Qianlong, who is regarded as the longest serving emperor in Chinese history, holding ultimate power long after he officially retired.
Under this hugely capable and cultured emperor, the Qing dynasty reached its apogee of wealth and power, almost doubling in size during his six decade reign.
Chinese Imperial Seal
Vow Not To Help T-rump Surveil Muslims
More than 200 employees of technology companies including Alphabet Inc's Google, Twitter Inc and Salesforce pledged on Tuesday to not help U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's administration build a data registry to track people based on their religion or assist in mass deportations.
Drawing comparisons to the Holocaust and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the employees signed an open letter at neveragain.tech rebuking ideas floated by Trump during the campaign trail. The protest, which began with about 60 signatures but had more than tripled within hours of publication, comes a day before several technology company executives are due to meet with the real-estate developer in New York City.
"We are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration's proposed data collection policies," reads the letter, signed by a mix of engineers, designers and business executives.
It continues: "We refuse to build a database of people based on their Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs. We refuse to facilitate mass deportations of people the government believes to be undesirable."
The letter vows to not participate in creating databases of identifying information for the U.S. government on the basis of race, religion or national origin, to minimize the collection or retention of data that could facilitate such targeting and to oppose any misuse of data at their respective organizations considered illegal or unethical.
Seeks Permanent Ban On Oil, Gas Prospecting
California Governor Jerry Brown has urged US President Barack Obama to ban oil and gas drilling off the state's coast to protect the oceans and fight global warming.
Moving swiftly before President-elect Donald Trump (R-Grifter) takes office, Brown asked the government to use its authority to permanently remove federal waters off the coast of California from areas subject to future oil and gas drilling permits.
"Clearly, large new oil and gas reserves would be inconsistent with our overriding imperative to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and combat the devastating impacts of climate change," Brown wrote a letter released by his office.
"Now is the time to make permanent the protection of our ocean waters and beaches," urged Brown, who has been a proponent of many forward-looking environmental policies in the most populous US state.
The governor also said he had signed an agreement with US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to increase the production of renewable energy, "including offshore wind or waves."
Didn't Invite Twitter
When executives of some of the country's biggest tech companies crowded around a conference table in Trump Tower to meet with the President-Elect Wednesday, one face was curiously absent. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hadn't been invited to the meeting - and a new Politico report claims that the snub was payback for Twitter refusing to run "Crooked Hillary" emoji during the election campaign.
Trump had invited executives from Google/ Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Palantir, Tesla and others to talk tech Wednesday. Photos posted from the meeting showed Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and other high-profile executives in attendance.
Also present were controversial Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel, Donald Trump's children Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump jr. as well as RNC strategist Sean Spicer.
The emoji, which played on unproven accusations of financial improprieties at the Clinton Foundation, was initially supposed to be a hand holding a bag of money. After discussions with Twitter's staff, the campaign instead settled on a stick figure running away with a bag of money.
Twitter eventually killed both emoji as well as any further emoji proposed by the campaign, and Trump campaign digital advertising director Gary Coby alleged in a blog post last month that this decision was driven by a direct intervention from Twitter's leadership.
Permits Thousands Of Eagle Deaths
The Obama administration on Wednesday finalized a rule that lets wind-energy companies operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years - even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.
Under the new rule, wind companies and other power providers will not face a penalty if they kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles, nearly four times the current limit. Deaths of the more rare golden eagles would be allowed without penalty so long as companies minimize losses by taking steps such as retrofitting power poles to reduce the risk of electrocution.
The new rule will conserve eagles while also spurring development of a pollution-free energy source intended to ease global warming, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's energy plan, said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.
Wind power has increased significantly since Obama took office, and wind turbines as tall as 30-story buildings are rising across the country. The wind towers have spinning rotors as wide as a passenger jet's wingspan, and blades reach speeds of up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes.
The surge in wind power has generally been well-received in the environmental community, but bird deaths - and eagle deaths in particular - have been a source of contention.
Massive Ice Melt
The Arctic shattered heat records in the past year as unusually warm air triggered massive melting of ice and snow and a late fall freeze, US government scientists said Tuesday.
The grim assessment came in the Arctic Report Card 2016, a peer-reviewed document by 61 scientists around the globe issued by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The NOAA report covers from October 2015 to September 2016, a period it said the Arctic's average annual air temperature over land was the highest on record.
"The report card this year clearly shows a stronger and more pronounced signal of persistent warming than any previous year in our observational record" going back to 1900, NOAA Arctic Research Program director Jeremy Mathis told the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, where the report was released.
The Arctic region is continuing to warm up more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, which is also expected to mark its hottest year in modern times.
A "crater" in Antarctica once thought to be the work of a meteorite impact is actually the result of ice melt, new research finds.
The hole, which is in the Roi Baudouin ice shelf in East Antarctica, is a collapsed lake - a cavity formed when a lake of meltwater drained - with a "moulin," a nearly vertical drainage passage through the ice, beneath it, researchers found on a field trip to the area in January 2016.
"That was a huge surprise," Stef Lhermitte, an earth science researcher at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and at the University of Leuven in Belgium, said in a statement. "Moulins typically are observed on Greenland. And we definitely never see them on an ice shelf."
Combining their fieldwork with satellite data and climate modeling, the researchers found that East Antarctica is more vulnerable to melt than was previously realized. Warm winds to the region blow away the snow cover, which darkens the surface of the ice, the team reported Dec. 12 in the journal Nature Climate Change. Darker surfaces absorb more heat from the sun than lighter surfaces, so they are more prone to melt. These floating ice sheets don't contribute much to sea level rise - as they're already in the ocean - but they provide an important backstop against the flowing of land-based ice from continental Antarctica into the ocean.
Record Setting Wave Recorded
The World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations' weather agency, announced Tuesday it had measured a massive wave that crushed the record for the tallest in history. The wave was 62.3 feet, or 19 meters, tall. For context, that equates to about six stories.
The massive wave was measured by a buoy in the North Atlantic in 2013. The height is defined as the distance from the crest - or top - of one wave to the trough - or bottom - of the other. A commission of experts for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially classified the record-breaker as "the highest significant wave height as measured by a buoy." A significant wave is defined as "the average of the highest one-third of waves measured by an instrument," which means the record-breaker was actually a series of waves.
The wave, which took place south of Iceland and North of the United Kingdom, flew past the previous record set in 2007 of 59.96 feet, also measured in the North Atlantic, a hotbed for massive waves.
"This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 meters. It is a remarkable record," said WMO Assistant Secretary-General Wenjian Zhang in a statement. "It highlights the importance of meteorological and ocean observations and forecasts to ensure the safety of the global maritime industry and to protect the lives of crew and passengers on busy shipping lanes."
Other one-off waves, however, have actually reportedly been taller than the 60-foot series measured by the buoy in the North Atlantic. An earthquake caused in 1958 in Alaska's Lituya Bay caused a tsunami that led to wave that reached 100 feet in height, according to the Smithsonian. Tsunamis are different from wind-blown waves, however, since they are much longer and more destructive.
Bernard Fox, the mustachioed actor known to TV viewers as Dr. Bombay on "Bewitched," Col. Crittendon on "Hogan's Heroes," and Malcolm Merriweather on "The Andy Griffith Show" has died. He was 89.
The Welsh-born actor's extensive, wide-ranging film and TV credits included "The Mummy," ''Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo," ''The Dyke Van Dyke Show," ''McHale's Navy" and "Columbo."
He appeared in both 1997's "Titanic," playing Col. Archibald Gracie, and in a 1958 movie about the ship tragedy, "A Night to Remember." He had an uncredited role in the latter, playing a sailor who delivers the line, "Iceberg's dead ahead, sir!" according to his family.
The actor spoofed his portrayal of the warlock physician Dr. Bombay on a 1989 episode of "Pee-wee's Playhouse," appearing as Dr. Jinga-Janga.
On "Hogan's Heroes," he played the incompetent Crittendon, a Royal Air Force group captain referred to as the colonel.
He is survived by his wife, Jacqueline; daughter Amanda; daughter-in-law Lisa, and two grandchildren. Another daughter, Valerie, died in 2006.