Paul Krugman: A Party Not Ready to Govern (NY Times)
The G.O.P. quagmire isn't just about Trump.
Charles M. Blow: Pause This Presidency! (NY Times)
The American people must immediately demand a cessation of all consequential actions by this "president" until we can be assured that Russian efforts to hack our election, in a way that was clearly meant to help him and damage his opponent, did not also include collusion with or coverup by anyone involved in the Trump campaign and now administration.
Laurie Penny: Every time we take an Uber we're spreading its social poison (The Guardian)
CEO Travis Kalanick's treatment of one of his drivers shows Uber's institutional sleazebaggery, seeing social responsibility as an outdated piece of apparatus.
Laurie Penny: Fake news sells because people want it to be true (New Statesman)
The rise of bullshit, from George Orwell to Donald Trump.
Avi Selk: Stephen King trolls Trump's wiretapping tweets as only a horror writer could (Washington Post)
There's a fan theory that best-selling author and master of horror fiction Stephen King predicted the rise of Donald Trump in his novel about a clairvoyant who foresees a demagogic salesman win the U.S. presidency and start a global war. Flash-forward to the present, in which President Trump, without offering any evidence, accused his predecessor of wiretapping his campaign offices, and King mocked him with a horror story, told in three tweets.
Roxanne Roberts: Elite law schools are really tough to get into. But what if you're Tiffany Trump? (Washington Post)
The prospect of a Trump at one of these elite universities has provoked curiosity, envy and debate on law school blogs and forums.
Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: Bill Maher's interview with a Trump defender started out nice. Then Russia came up. (Washington Post)
"Unless you can manipulate the votes in the machine, you haven't done it," Lord told Maher. "I like you, and I heard you're a very nice guy, but don't bull-- me," Maher replied. "There are other ways you can affect an election, and one of them is to hack the emails of one side and release those as a slow drip, drip, drip, drip, drip."
Rich Hall: Trump promised to wipe out Isis - perhaps he already has … (The Guardian)
The president promised he would have a plan to defeat the radical jihadis within 30 days of taking office. I, for one, am willing to believe in this steely man of action.
Rich Hall: Immigrants want to come to America and not shoot anyone. No wonder Trump has banned them (The Guardian)
In recent days, I've heard, first-hand, dozens of stories of people from Muslim-majority countries who only wanted to escape oppression and fear and come to a country where more than 100,000 people a year are perforated by bullets.
Rich Hall: "Time to decide: do we want Biff Tannen or Mary Tyler Moore in the White House?" (The Guardian)
I'll be voting for Hillary, but the choice is bleak. My fellow Americans are so fed up with this farcical election, they are throwing dildos on to football pitches.
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"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
GET A LITTLE EGG ON YOUR FACE.
One of the Most Famous Scientists in the World Just Explained Why Trump Is an Existential Threat | Mother Jones
WORK FROM HOME.
"ALL THE PRESIDENT'S DIAPER-CHANGERS"
THIS WEEK IN PATRIARCHY.
GOD FORGIVE AMERICA.
THE UNITED STATES OF DUMBFUCKISTAN!
TRUMP IS INCREDIBLY PISSED OFF!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Sunny but on the cool side.
Vows Fix For 'Inappropriate' Search Results
The internet giant reacted after a blog post highlighted unsubstantiated search results indicating former president Barack Obama was planning a "coup d'etat' and that four former US presidents were members of the Ku Klux Klan.
The weekend post from Search Engine Land editor Danny Sullivan found Google delivered "terribly wrong" answers to some queries in its "one true answer" box at the top of search results and in queries to its Google Home speaker.
"The problematic examples I review don't appear to have been deliberate attempts," Sullivan wrote. "Rather, they seem to be the result of Google's algorithms and machine learning making bad selections."
Sullivan said when he asked the speaker if US Republicans were the same as Nazis, it answered in the affirmative.
The Woman Behind The Story
Late last month, a former British Member of Parliament named Louise Mensch took to her favorite medium, Twitter, to make her latest bombshell allegation: "I absolutely believe that Andrew Breitbart was murdered by Putin," Mensch wrote in a Feb. 24 tweet about the 2012 death of the conservative founder of Breitbart.com (who, according to a coroner's report, died near his house in Los Angeles from heart failure with no sign of foul play).
Until recently, Mensch's conspiracy-minded tweets about dark Russian and American plots didn't get much attention. But all that changed after President Trump charged in his own Saturday morning Twitter storm that President Barack Obama had wiretapped his phone, an explosive allegation that appears to trace back to a four-month old story by Mensch in Heat Street, a libertarian-oriented website site owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
On Nov. 7, the day before the presidential election, Mensch wrote that the FBI had obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to monitor the "activities of 'U.S. persons' in Donald Trump's campaign with ties to Russia." No American news organization has corroborated the account, but the day after Trump's Saturday tweets, Heat Street was quick to take credit as Trump's source-even if the goal of her reporting (to expose the president's purported ties to the Kremlin) was radically different from what the chief executive had in mind.
"I'm extremely proud of my breaking that story," Mensch, 45, said in an interview with Yahoo News. "What I put into play there is that there was a FISA warrant, and that the FBI clearly considered Donald Trump an agent of influence of a foreign power."
The new spotlight on Mensch injects another colorful, if improbable, character into the Trump-Russia saga - a high-octane Oxford-educated former Tory politician turned journalist who has authored a string of "chick lit" novels for young women and is married to the manager of the rock bands Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Hardliners Have Parts Of Brain Missing
Chinese hardliners have parts of their brains missing, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said in an interview aired this week, comments likely to infuriate Beijing, which views the Nobel Peace laureate as a dangerous separatist.
The Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.
Speaking to U.S. comedian John Oliver in India's northern town of Dharamsala, where the exiled Tibetan government is based, he also said he might be the last Dalai Lama.
Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death.
The Dalai Lama has suggested previously the title could end with him, when he dies. China accuses him of betraying, and being disrespectful of, the Tibetan religion, by saying there might be no future reincarnations.
Hoard Of Coins Extracted
Thai veterinarians on Monday removed 915 coins from a 25-year-old sea turtle which had been swallowing items thrown into her pool for good luck, eventually limiting her ability to swim.
The coins and other objects removed from the turtle named Omsin - piggy bank in Thai - weighed 5 kg (11 lb). The turtle itself weighed 59 kg (130 lb).
The green sea turtle, living at a conservation center in Sriracha, Chonburi, east of the Thai capital of Bangkok, had been finding it hard to swim normally because of the weight.
The vets said they believed the seven-hour-long operation was the world's first such surgery.
There was no immediate estimate of the value of the coins, some of them foreign and many corroded.
May Widen Inquiry
Ireland will widen an inquiry into former Church-run homes for unmarried mothers if needed, Prime Minister Enda Kenny said on Monday, calling the discovery of long-dead babies at one home "truly appalling".
The remains of babies ranging from new-born to three-years-old, were found in the sewers of one of Ireland's "mother-and-baby homes", government-appointed investigators said on Friday following an excavation they described as "shocking".
The government ordered the inquiry in 2014 after a local historian's research suggested up to 800 children may lie in an unmarked grave at the home in the western town of Tuam.
RTE quoted Kenny as saying that if the commission's terms of reference needed to be extended "then this would happen".
The commission is already investigating 17 other church-run homes but advocacy groups say there were many more and that little is known of what went on, including burial practices and grave locations.
Pope Should Ditch Cardinal Over Abuse
Pope Francis was urged by a prominent church reform group Monday to oust the head of a powerful Vatican department after accusations that senior officials blocked reforms approved by the pontiff to curb sex abuse.
The row follows the resignation last week of Marie Collins, an Irish survivor of clerical sex abuse, who stepped down from Francis's child protection panel slamming a "shameful" high-level obstruction of change in apparent defiance of the pope's wishes.
Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), replied Sunday to Collins's claim that his department had ignored Francis's decision in 2015 to create a new tribunal to judge bishops who cover up sexual abuse cases.
An international group called We Are Church issued a statement urging Francis to replace Mueller "with someone who will introduce transparency, justice and compassion" in the CDF.
It accused the department of refusing to set up the tribunal in question and refusing to "change the processes it uses for investigating priests".
Shrinks In Pakistan
Pakistani leaders often wax lyrical about their "sweeter than honey" relations with all-weather friend China. There's no romance about their marriage of convenience with America.
As the Trump administration plots its policy toward a key partner, it will find Pakistan being drawn deeper into Beijing's embrace and its promise of $46 billion in energy, infrastructure and industry investments by 2030. The money could transform the Muslim nation's economy.
Washington, by contrast, is losing faith in how much its largesse can influence Pakistan. Many frustrated U.S. policymakers see Pakistan as a terrorist haven that some $30 billion in security and economic assistance since the 9/11 attacks has failed to fix. But an American retreat could have broad implications for its ability to maintain stability in a regional powder keg of extremism, weak governance and various potential conflicts.
"I get the sense that we are the dispensable ally once again," Bilalwal Bhutto, a Pakistani opposition party leader and son of the slain former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, said during a recent visit to Washington.
U.S. assistance to Pakistan has been declining since 2011 when American commandos killed Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan, straining relations. And as the U.S. troop presence in neighboring Afghanistan has shrunk, Pakistan has become a lower priority. Aid could decline further as President Donald Trump proposes drastic cuts to diplomacy and foreign aid budgets.
May Vanish Even If ...
Arctic Sea Ice
Arctic sea ice may vanish in summers this century even if governments achieve a core target for limiting global warming set by almost 200 nations in 2015, scientists said on Monday.
Arctic sea ice has been shrinking steadily in recent decades, damaging the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and wildlife such as polar bears while opening the region to more shipping and oil and gas exploration.
Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, governments set a goal of limiting the rise in average world temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, with an aspiration of just 1.5C (2.7F).
A 2C rise would still mean a 39 percent risk that ice will disappear in the Arctic Ocean in summers, they said. Ice was virtually certain to survive, however, with just 1.5C of warming.
And they said they estimated a 73 percent probability that the ice would disappear in summer unless governments make deeper cuts in emissions than their existing plans. They estimated temperatures will rise 3C (5.4F) on current trends.
Arctic Sea Ice
More Than 100 Degrees F Hotter Than Thought
How hot are Earth's scorching insides? A sweltering 2,570 degrees Fahrenheit (1,410 degrees Celsius), a new study finds.
The discovery reveals that the mantle under Earth's oceans - the area just below the crust that extends down to the planet's inner liquid core - is almost 110 degrees F (60 degrees C) hotter than scientists previously thought, the researchers said. The finding will help scientists more accurately model Earth's many geodynamic processes, including plate tectonics, they said.
Having such a hot mantle could mean that the mantle is less viscous (flows more easily), which could explain how tectonic plates are able to move on top of the asthenosphere," the upper layer of Earth's mantle, said study lead researcher Emily Sarafian, a doctoral student in the Geology and Geophysics Department at a joint program run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The temperature's effect on the asthenosphere isn't very different from that of hot temperatures on honey, she said.
There are many clues that the mantle under Earth's oceans is blazing hot. For instance, it generates the lava that bursts out of underwater volcanoes. However, for obvious reasons, scientists can't travel to the mantle and directly measure the temperature at which it melts.
Robert Osborne, the genial face of Turner Classic Movies and a walking encyclopedia of classic Hollywood, has died. He was 84.
His calming presence, gentlemanly style, encyclopedic knowledge of film history, fervent support for film preservation and highly personal interviewing style all combined to make him a truly world-class host," said Dorian. "Robert's contributions were fundamental in shaping TCM into what it is today and we owe him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid."
A cause of death was not announced, though Osborne's waning health had forced him to miss the previous two TCM Film Festivals, which he hosted annually in Los Angeles.
Osborne was there from the inception of Ted Turner's commercial-free classic movie network. To open its first broadcast on April 14, 1994, he introduced "Gone With the Wind." In the decades after, he remained Turner Classic's primary - and often sole - host.
For TCM viewers, Osborne was a constant and comforting presence. He presented nightly films and movies packaged in series like "The Essentials" with bits of history and trivia. He also conducted interviews with stars for the network's guest programmer evenings. His intros - always beginning "Hi, I'm Robert Osborne" - were the warm appetizers to countless feasts of Hollywood classics.
Born in Colfax, Washington, Osborne studied journalism at the University of Washington and spent two years in the Air Force in Seattle. He then moved to Los Angeles to make it as an actor, and was signed by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Desilu Studios. Ball, who remained a mentor to him up until her death in 1989, encouraged Osborne to pursue writing - "especially after she saw me act," Osborne would recall.
He joined the Hollywood Reporter in 1977 and for years wrote its "Rambling Reporter" column. But he found his home at TCM. To tape his segments, Osborne flew once a month from his New York home to TCM's Atlanta studio.
With Osborne as its ambassador, the cultishly adored TCM developed into a wider-reaching mainstay of movie love, including not just the popular film festival but an annual cruise.
Osborne was an Academy Awards historian, too. He wrote his first history of the Oscars in 1965 ("Academy Awards Illustrated") and later became its official red-carpet greeter. He wrote several official histories of the Academy Awards, including 2008's "80 Years of the Oscar."