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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 41,498

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Michigan governor: I have nothing to hide

by Drew Salisbury

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has apologized for the current public health crisis in Flint, which has left 10 dead and tens of thousands sick since the city switched its water supply source from Lake Huron to the highly corrosive Flint River in 2014. So far, Snyder has resisted calls for his resignation and/or arrest despite the fact that his administration ignored tons of complaints from the community and medical professionals about the water — which was so contaminated with lead the EPA deemed it “toxic waste” — but Wednesday the Snyder offered a mea culpa in the form of transparency: He released all of his emails related to the disaster from 2014 and 2015.

Let’s take a look and see if we can’t get to the bottom of this shit show.





Well, that certainly clears things up, Governor Snyder! It’s clear by this redacted email that you’ve done everything in your power to tackle this problem swiftly and effectively. Transparency at its opaquest.

To be fair, not all 274 pages of the release are blacked out. Those that aren’t read like this:


“Can’t figure out why the state is responsible”? Wow. Culpability at its finest, folks.

http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/277723/michigan-governor-snyder-emails-redacted/

Bernie Sanders has Hillary Clinton on the ropes over her ties to Wall Street

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Wall Street is not only the issue that most sharply divides the two leading contenders for the Democratic nomination, it is also the issue that exposes two radically different styles in politics.

And that is why, against all expectation, the Democratic primary campaign is actually a contest.

Hillary Clinton simply had no answer when Bernie Sanders turned to her in Sunday night’s debate and reminded her that “you’ve received over $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year."

It is this evasiveness that distinguishes Clinton’s style of politics from the plain speaking that has drawn millions of voters this year to Sanders.

It was one of several remarks by Sanders about how difficult it has to be for someone who has taken money from Wall Street to be serious about regulating it. Read the transcript of the debate.

The best response Clinton could come up with was to attack Sanders for his criticism of President Barack Obama for taking donations from Wall Street, even though, she said in a brazen non sequitur, he “has led our country out of the great recession.”

more
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bernie-sanders-has-hillary-clinton-on-the-ropes-over-her-ties-to-wall-street-2016-01-20

Bernie Sanders and the Failure of Propaganda

by TED RALL

The independent senator from Vermont says the economic system is rigged against working-class Americans. He’s right.

The electoral political system is a subsidiary of those who rule the economy. Which is why Bernie Sanders never stood a chance. The political system was rigged against him.

And yet, despite the formidable institutional obstacles stacked against him, Sanders is doing great: largely considered a shoo-in to win New Hampshire, leading in Iowa, closing the gap nationally. Surprised pundits are marveling at his popular momentum, ground organization and fundraising prowess. There is now a credible path to the Democratic nomination and, if he runs against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, to the White House.

Center-right Hillaryworld wants to know: how did this happen?

Leftists wonder: is this cause for hope?

It is an amazing story. Everyone in a position to block Sanders’ campaign did everything they could to sabotage him.

more
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/20/bernie-sanders-and-the-failure-of-propaganda/

Note I do not agree with Ted's conclusions at the end. But the rest is spot on.

University president allegedly says struggling freshmen are bunnies that should be drowned

By Susan Svrluga

Amid a conversation about student retention this fall, the president of Mount St. Mary’s University told some professors that they need to stop thinking of freshmen as “cuddly bunnies,” and said: “You just have to drown the bunnies … put a Glock to their heads.”

Simon Newman was quoted in the campus newspaper, The Mountain Echo, on Tuesday, in a special edition that reported the university’s president had pushed a plan to improve retention rates by dismissing 20 to 25 freshmen judged unlikely to succeed early in the academic year. Removing students who are more likely to drop out could hypothetically lead to an improvement in a school’s federal retention data; the deadline for submitting enrollment data is in late September.

Newman, a private-equity chief executive officer and entrepreneur who was appointed president of the private university in Emmitsburg, Md., in 2015, said Tuesday that there are some accurate facts in the Echo story, but “the overall tone of the thing is highly inaccurate.”

“The inferences, the innuendo, it’s not accurate at all — the conclusions one would naturally draw from reading it,” Newman said in an interview with The Washington Post. He described an intensive, multi-pronged effort to improve retention rates, because the school loses 20 to 25 percent of its first-year students. School administrators, he said, want to be sure their customers, the students, are successful.

He said he didn’t remember exactly what he said in the conversation that was quoted, but acknowledged he has sometimes used language that was regrettable.

more

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/01/19/university-president-allegedly-says-struggling-freshmen-are-bunnies-that-should-be-drowned-that-a-glock-should-be-put-to-their-heads/

Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

By Eric Hand
Jan. 20, 2016
The solar system appears to have a new ninth planet. Today, two scientists announced evidence that a body nearly the size of Neptune—but as yet unseen—orbits the sun every 15,000 years. During the solar system’s infancy 4.5 billion years ago, they say, the giant planet was knocked out of the planet-forming region near the sun. Slowed down by gas, the planet settled into a distant elliptical orbit, where it still lurks today.

The claim is the strongest yet in the centuries-long search for a “Planet X” beyond Neptune. The quest has been plagued by far-fetched claims and even outright quackery. But the new evidence comes from a pair of respected planetary scientists, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, who prepared for the inevitable skepticism with detailed analyses of the orbits of other distant objects and months of computer simulations. “If you say, ‘We have evidence for Planet X,’ almost any astronomer will say, ‘This again? These guys are clearly crazy.’ I would, too,” Brown says. “Why is this different? This is different because this time we’re right.”

Outside scientists say their calculations stack up and express a mixture of caution and excitement about the result. “I could not imagine a bigger deal if—and of course that’s a boldface ‘if’—if it turns out to be right,” says Gregory Laughlin, a planetary scientist at the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz. “What’s thrilling about it is is detectable.”

Batygin and Brown inferred its presence from the peculiar clustering of six previously known objects that orbit beyond Neptune. They say there’s only a 0.007% chance, or about one in 15,000, that the clustering could be a coincidence. Instead, they say, a planet with the mass of 10 Earths has shepherded the six objects into their strange elliptical orbits, tilted out of the plane of the solar system.



more

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/feature-astronomers-say-neptune-sized-planet-lurks-unseen-solar-system

The Most Mystifying Lines of Sarah Palin’s Endorsement Speech

Sarah Palin’s meandering, fiery, sarcastic, patriotic and blustery speech endorsing Donald J. Trump for president on Tuesday in Ames, Iowa, does not easily submit to categorization.

It has been described as performance art, a filibuster, even slam poetry.

Mrs. Palin has always been a singular force on the campaign trail. But in her years away from politics, the former Alaska governor and Senator John McCain’s Republican vice-presidential pick in 2008 seems to have spurred a whole new series of idiosyncratic expressions and unusual locutions — to the point where even Mr. Trump seemed occasionally mystified as he tried to follow along.

Below, a list of 10 of the more memorable lines of the speech, and an attempt to translate them:

“They stomp on our neck, and then they tell us, ‘Just chill, O.K., just relax.’ Well, look, we are mad, and we’ve been had. They need to get used to it.”

An impressive example of internal rhyme — if a tad violent, as Mrs. Palin describes the Republican establishment trying to quash the anger of the party’s rebellious base.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/us/politics/sarah-palin-endorsement-speech-donald-trump.html?_r=1

Isis razes to ground the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, satellite images show

Source: The Independent

The Isis jihadist group has completely destroyed a 1,400-year-old Christian monastery in Iraq, the oldest of its kind in the country.

Satellite images released on Wednesday by the Associated Press showed just a pile of rubble where St Elijah's Monastery used to stand on a hill above Mosul, Isis's stronghold in Iraq.

The monastery had survived as a place of Christian worship for almost one-and-a-half millenia, predating Islam itself, and had only suffered superficial damage throughout the country's most recent conflicts.

An historically significant site, the partially restored 27,000-square-foot stone building had 26 distinct rooms including a sanctuary and chapel. It still had niches where monks used to tuck candles, and the fourth century Greek "Chi-Rho" symbol, representing the name of Christ, was still visible carved into its right gatepost.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-razes-to-ground-the-oldest-christian-monastery-in-iraq-satellite-images-show-a6822256.html





Dbag Shkreli gets court date delayed after firing lawyers

Martin Shkreli won’t appear in court today after all.

After a last-minute plea by his now former legal team, Shkreli will get a two-week delay of his January 20 court hearing while he finds new counsel.

Shkreli, reviled former-CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, was charged last month with running a Ponzi-like scheme and defrauding two hedge funds he previously managed and one of the pharmaceutical companies he founded, Retrophin. He has pled not guilty and was released on $5 million bail he posted with a $45-million-dollar E-trade account.

In a letter dated Monday, his now former legal team from the law firm Arnold & Porter asked Brooklyn federal court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to postpone a hearing in the case that was scheduled for Wednesday. “Mr. Shkreli has indicated that he wishes to replace our firm as counsel and is in the process of retaining new counsel,” lawyers from the firm wrote in a court document filed Monday. “We respectfully request a two-week continuance of the scheduled conference so that Mr. Shkreli can finalize his engagement of new counsel and we can properly transition the matter to the new attorneys.”

The request was granted late Tuesday and the hearing was rescheduled for 10 am on February 3, 2016.

more
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/01/shkreli-gets-court-date-delayed-after-firing-lawyers/

Wednesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest



Biz



Rahm


The Issue





Oscars








War



RIP







Wednesday Toon Roundup 2: Lead, Michigan










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