Helaine Olen: Here's a GOP scandal that should be huge national news. Why isn't it?(Washington Post)
Out-and-out corruption and incredibly sleazy, potentially criminal sexual behavior are getting more and more normalized with each passing scandal. At a certain point, we risk that it will all become so much background noise - and we'll get used to it. We shouldn't. But it seems - incredibly - that we are doing just that. And that's the greatest scandal of them all.
Helaine Olen: "Memo to Democrats: A progressive economic agenda is popular" (Washington Post)
As for Democrats, there is no reason to choose between different groups of working-class voters. A progressive economic agenda can be emphasized with more reminders that it reaches many groups - that ensuring equal pay for equal work improves the prospects for everyone in a household, that retirement security is an issue for everyone from the lower to the upper middle class, and that no one deserves to watch their financial lives destroyed when struck down by an illness. As Madland said, "It's a clear winner."
Helaine Olen: New GOP tactics wage war on Obama-era protections (Washington Post)
In other words, it's possible that many other long-standing regulations will suddenly be in the cross hairs of Trump and Republicans. We will soon find out how much damage this clever new procedural tactic can do.
LELA NARGI: 19 Secrets of Public Librarians (Mental Floss)
The nation's first free public lending library opened in Massachusetts in 1790 with a collection of books donated by Benjamin Franklin, and public librarians have been helping Americans figure stuff out ever since.
Paul Krugman: Scam I Amn't: Voters and the Tax Cut (NY Times Blog)
I don't know what will happen in the midterm elections. But if Republicans pull it out - that is, if they lose the popular vote by a small enough margin that gerrymandering and the geographic concentration of nonwhite voters frustrate the public's will - it will be the result of tribalism. It won't be because the G.O.P. won voters over with a tax cut.
James Burton: How Philip K Dick redefined what it means to be (in)human (Independent)
His story 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', the basis for the Blade Runner films, is not just a story about realistic robots.
Katy Shaw: "Will Self: Why his report on the death of the novel is (still) premature" (Independent)
Literary fiction is robust enough to withstand the challenges the 21st century throws at it.
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Samantha Bee on Hannity, Serial Killer
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
"THE FOX FASCIST SHOW."
"THE LIARS ALWAYS WIN."
WHEN CRIMINALS GET LAWYERS!
"WE ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO HATE!"
MAY ALEX JONES DIE IN A FIERY CAR CRASH!
TRUMP BRINGS IN THE REPUBLICAN MAFIA.
TRUMP HELPS THE PUERTO RICANS.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Rainy morning, sunny afternoon.
Statue Moving To Stock Exchange
The popular "Fearless Girl" statue, which has been staring down Wall Street's "Charging Bull" since last year, will soon move to face the New York Stock Exchange, the city's mayor said Thursday.
The bronze statue by artist Kristen Visbal -- seen by many as a defiant symbol of women's rights under President Donald Trump's administration -- appeared on the eve of International Women's Day in March 2017.
The statue was installed by State Street Global Advisors asset managers and marked the start of the firm's campaign to encourage companies it invests in to increase the number of women on their boards of directors.
The "Fearless Girl" statue was supposed to be up for only a week, but became a tourist magnet and the temporary permit was extended to one month, and eventually one year.
Moving the statue to the pedestrian-friendly area outside the NYSE "will improve access for visitors and ensure that her message and impact continues to be heard," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
Pulled Off Schedule
After CBS yesterday wrapped its round of early pickups of the series it considered no-brainers for renewal, it has started to shed the weakest of the rest. Monday comedy Living Biblically has been pulled from the schedule effective immediately. Starting next week, it will be replaced by repeats of The Big Bang Theory.
The move is not a surprise. Living Biblically is CBS' least watched series this season and tied for last place in adults 18-49 (Live+same day). CBS earlier this season also pulled freshman Monday comedy Me, Myself & I off the schedule after several modestly rated airings. Neither is expected to return next season.
Through its eight airings to date, Living Biblically averaged 4.2 million viewers and a 0.65 18-49 rating (L+SD).
Living Biblically and Me, Myself & I have been part of a CBS' Monday lineup that has been struggling mightily this season, leading to the network leaving every single Monday series on the bubble, including 8 PM anchor Kevin Can Wait and drama Scorpion.
Warner Bros. Indoor Amusement Park
Abu Dhabi will open a $1 billion indoor Warner Bros. amusement park this July, officials announced Wednesday, the latest offering in a crowded market in the United Arab Emirates where one marquee park already faces serious financial problems.
The Warner Bros. World park, built by the Abu Dhabi government-owned Miral Asset Management, encompasses 1.65 million square feet (153,290 square meters) on Yas Island, a leisure destination for the Emirati capital.
Officials say the draw of the Warner Bros. brand, encompassing cartoons and comic books, will help them overcome the challenges faced by other theme parks in the Emirates, including a Dubai park that lost $300 million last year.
The large park looks like a big-box department store from the outside, though its bright yellow paint and massive stencils of Tweety bird and other characters give it away. Inside, the park is separated into Bedrock of "The Flintstones'" fame, Superman's Metropolis, Batman's Gotham City, Cartoon Junction and Yosemite Sam's Dynamite Gulch. Only two of the park's 29 rides have height restrictions.
The park, opening July 25, will sell tickets from 290 dirhams ($79) for adults and 230 dirhams ($63) for children.
King Renames Swaziland
The king of Swaziland, one of the world's few absolute monarchs, announced on Thursday that his country had changed its name to eSwatini to mark 50 years since independence from British rule.
Meaning "place of the Swazi", eSwatini is the Swazi language name for the tiny nation landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique.
King Mswati III declared the name change during independence day celebrations at a packed sports stadium in the second city of Manzini.
"I would like to announce that Swaziland will now revert to its original name," he said, wearing red military uniform.
"African countries on getting independence reverted to their ancient names before they were colonised. So from now on the country will be officially be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini."
President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Crooked) personal attorney dropped a pair of libel lawsuits against BuzzFeed and investigation firm Fusion GPS amid the stir caused by an FBI search of the lawyer's files.
Michael Cohen had sued in New York City over publication of the unverified dossier detailing alleged ties between Trump and Russia. He dropped the suits late Wednesday amid a separate legal battle over the seizure of documents and electronic files from his home, office and hotel room last week in a federal investigation of possible financial fraud.
The dossier claims that Cohen met with Russian operatives in Europe for a meeting to "clean up the mess" over disclosures of other Trump associates' reported ties to Russia.
In a statement, BuzzFeed called the suit against it meritless.
"Today's news suggests that Donald Trump's personal lawyer no longer thinks an attack on the free press is worth his time," it said.
'Catastrophic' Coral Die-Off
Great Barrier Reef
Australia's Great Barrier Reef suffered a "catastrophic die-off" of coral during an extended heatwave in 2016, threatening a broader range of reef life than previously feared, a report revealed Thursday.
Scientists said some 30 percent of the reef's coral died in the heatwave from March to November 2016, the first of an unprecedented two successive years of coral bleaching along the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) World Heritage-listed reef off Australia's northeastern coast.
The study published Thursday in the journal Nature found that coral, which serve as habitats for other creatures, were particularly hard hit by the rising sea temperatures caused by global warming.
Terry Hughes, a report co-author and head of the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at Australia's James Cook University, told AFP the most susceptible to heat exposure were branching corals -- table-shaped creatures that provide nooks and crannies for fish nurseries and fisheries.
Corals that were more likely to survive the warmer sea temperatures were smooth and melon-shaped, he said. While they were good calcifiers that add volume to reefs, they were "not very useful as habitable providers".
Great Barrier Reef
Canadian Pacific Waters
A large group of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have been spotted in Canadian Pacific waters - the first confirmed occurrence of the species in this area. The sighting is reported in a study published in the open access journal Marine Biodiversity Records.
On 29 July 2017, researchers from Halpin Wildlife Research, in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada and the Department of Environment and Climate Change, Canada, observed a group of approximately 200 common bottlenose dolphins and roughly 70 false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens). The sighting occurred off the west coast of northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and may be the northern most recording for this species in the eastern North Pacific.
Luke Halpin, lead author of the paper, said: 'It is surprising to find a warm-water dolphin in British Columbian waters, and especially to find such a large number of common bottlenose dolphins within the group."
Halpin added: "The sighting is also the first offshore report of false killer whales in British Columbia. To see the two species traveling together and interacting was quite special and rare. It is known that common bottlenose dolphins and false killer whales seek each other out and interact, but the purpose of the interactions is unclear."
Both common bottlenose dolphins and false killer whales typically live in warm temperate waters further south in the eastern North Pacific, but this sighting suggests that they will naturally range into British Columbia, Canada when conditions are suitable. There has been a warming trend in eastern North Pacific waters from 2013-2016 and the authors hypothesize that the trend may be the reason behind this unusual sighting.
Dodo Was Murdered
'Alice in Wonderland'
Dodos went extinct more than 300 years ago, but scientists are only now opening up a cold case after learning that one of the birds - the prized dodo specimen that likely inspired author Lewis Carroll to create a dodo character in the 1865 book "Alice in Wonderland" - was brutally murdered.
After recently loading the famous dodo into a micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scanner, researchers noticed that the scans showed weird fleck marks in the flightless bird's neck and the back of its head.
A closer inspection revealed that those flecks were tiny lead pellets, meaning that someone shot the dodo from behind, killing the wildfowl, the researchers announced Friday (April 20).
The murderous finding came as a complete surprise, said Paul Smith, the director of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in England, where the dodo specimen - called the Oxford dodo - is on display. For years, curators thought that the specimen was the same bird that was brought to London in 1638, when the animal was still alive, Smith said. This famous dodo was a curiosity show, and people could pay to see and feed it.
It was thought that the curiosity-show dodo died and the remains of its body was later acquired by John Tradescant the Elder, whose family provided the founding collection for the University of Oxford museums. But the great performing dodo was never shot (at least that we know of), which raises the question: Where did the Oxford dodo come from if it's not the same one that performed in the London curiosity show so many years ago?
'Alice in Wonderland'
An eccentric art dealer who claims to have hidden treasure worth millions of pounds in the Rocky Mountains says 350,000 people have tried and failed to find to find the riches.
Forrest Fenn, 87, warned it could be "1,000 years from now" before hunters discover the whereabouts of the chest filled with gold nuggets and precious gems.
He revealed in 2010 that he had concealed the bounty somewhere in the 3,000-mile mountain range, and in a subsequent memoir he published a map and a poem said to contain nine clues about the location.
Four men have died looking for the treasure, thought to be worth about about $2m (£1.4m).
Mr Fenn, whose gallery in the New Mexico city of Santa Fe attracted frequent visits from celebrities in the 1970s and 80s, initially planned to bury himself with the treasure when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1988. But after he recovered, he conceived the treasure hunt and dropped clues in a 24-line poem in his self-published memoir The Thrill of the Chase.