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Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:01 PM
Number of posts: 7,838

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The weasel that wasn't

The "weasel" that caused the CERN shutdown was actually a stone marten. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beech_marten

See: UPDATE: Stone Marten is culprit at CERN https://worldradio.ch/news/0516/update-stone-marten-is-culprit-at-cern.html

If you listened to the Breakfast Show this morning, Steve and Katt received an interesting anonymous tip about CERN’s rodent problems last week.

As it turns out, the critter that chewed through the 66,000 volt transformer was in fact NOT a weasel, but a stone marten, otherwise known as a beech marten or a fouine. You heard the scoop here first!

Apparently several of you have had run-ins of your own with the ‘car eating mammal’. Who knew that German or Japanese car parts might taste different? Here’s a few of our favourite comments from listeners:

Oprah Winfrey To Star In HBO Films’ ‘The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks’


The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (Winfrey), the film chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever. It’s a story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty and deep friendship between the unlikeliest of people.

Winfrey and Oscar winner Ball executive produce the movie alongside Peter Macdissi (Cinemax’s Banshee), Carla Gardini (The Hundred-Foot Journey) and Lydia Dean Pilcher (HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack). It’s a Your Face Goes Here Entertainment, Harpo Films and Cine Mosaic production. Skloot serves as co-executive producer, while Henrietta Lacks’ sons David Lacks Jr. and Zakariyya Rahman and granddaughter Jeri Lacks are consultants.

Former Top John McCain Aide Says He’s Backing Hillary Clinton Over Donald Trump


While many Republicans are team #NeverTrump, few have actually said they’ll support a Democrat instead.

I hate to distract from the Indiana primary frenzy, which will play out well for Hillary tonight, whether she actually wins or not. Right now, the NYTimes results are showing a tie with 16% of the vote in.

But I just saw this item and am posting it. The SBS supporters love to say how their candidate will bring not only Independents but crossover Repubbies under the Dem mantle and HRC ... won't. So it is ironic that at least one high profile GOPer has actually said that he will support Hillary over Trump.

Mark Salter, who served as chief of staff to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and worked as an adviser on both of McCain’s presidential campaigns, says he’ll be supporting Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump this fall.

Salter, known as one of McCain’s closest confidants, tweeted Tuesday that he’s “with her,” a nod to Clinton’s campaign slogan.
While #NeverTrump has become a popular refrain in some factions of the Republican Party as the brash businessman inches closer to the GOP nomination, few Republicans have actually said they’ll back Clinton or her Democratic primary opponent Bernie Sanders instead.

Salter has long criticized Trump’s presidential bid. Last July, he penned an essay for RealClearPolitics comparing Trump to P.T. Barnum. In a January Esquire essay, he described the candidate as “a cartoon villain, a fake, a cheat, a liar, a creep, a bullying, bragging, bullshitting, blowhard kind of asshole.” And in February, Salter warned of the dangers of electing Trump as commander in chief, predicting he “would have American soldiers commit atrocities as a matter of national policy.”

What head-to-head election polls tell us about November


Extremely wonky post from Sam Wang, complete with graphs.

The November outcome should be within 1 SD of current polls approximately two-thirds of the time. Hillary Clinton’s polling margin over Donald Trump is currently +8% (median of 19 pollsters since mid-March) – twice the standard deviation. Based on past years, how likely is it that Trump can catch up? It is possible to convert Clinton’s lead to a probability using the t-distribution*, which can account for outlier events like 1964 and 1980. Using this approach, the probability that Trump can catch up by November is 9%, and the probability that Clinton will remain ahead of Trump is 91%**. This probability doesn’t take into account Electoral College mechanisms. But since the bias of the Electoral College is quite small, it does not make a difference in the calculation.

I should note that the polls have been telling us this information for some time. In the first half of March, Clinton led Trump by a median of 9 percentage points. Using an SD of 4.5 percentage points, her win probability would come out as 93%. So today’s estimate has been knowable for several months.

This is a result that may excite Democrats. However, it is subject to change. For example, the SD increases to about 7% in June, which combined with a lead of Clinton +8% corresponds to an 83% win probability, less certain than today. And of course the polls could change. I don’t know why polls would be less predictive in summer. Maybe general election campaign events drive polls away from where they would naturally go otherwise. Post-convention bounces would be examples of such events.

This estimate is also independent of other factors, such as the state of the economy and Clinton and Trump’s net favorability/unfavorability. Most such factors should already be partially baked into the polls, and therefore might not add much information. Now that polls are predictive, they give us a more direct measure of what will happen in November

These predictions are nothing to be complacent about. But there is also no reason to panic. Slow and steady as has been the rule all along should lead Hillary to the prize.

But oh, there is SUCH a long way still to go, especially when a disgruntled primary candidate threatens a "contested convention." That simply is not going to happen, despite Bernie's threats. He is winning no new friends with these tactics and may even be losing some he had.

Hillary Clinton, the surprise populist


'Stay or pay' plan could make corporations think twice about moving jobs overseas.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have made white working-class resentments over international trade central to their presidential bids. But neither takes the issue seriously. Ironically, the one who does is the candidate most identified with free trade.

Hillary Clinton.
Lost job growth isn't due to bad deals with China because the U.S. does not have bilateral trade agreements with that country. China and the U.S. are, however, members of the World Trade Organization, which writes the rules of commerce. A condition of membership was lifting trade barriers. To influence commerce rules, and to benefit from China's liberalized economy, the U.S. dropped tariffs on Chinese imports. Trump and Sanders may blame trade deals for the plight of the white working class, but the real issue is a global economy.
Her claim on this is a tax proposal that gives corporations incentives to invest in the USA. According to her "clawback" plan, firms relocating overseas must repay any taxpayer assistance they ever received. As she told the New York Daily News, tax relief is given in exchange for creating jobs. There was, she said, "an implicit bargain."

Elizabeth Warren, the progressive icon, invoked the same implicit bargain while running for the Senate in 2012. Corporations are part of communities with multiple stakeholders, she said: "Part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

Clinton’s proposal to make firms stay or pay is good policy that is also good politics. Given how closely her views resemble Warren's, it's ironic that the candidate most identified with free trade could be the most progressive.

Primary blog: Hillary Clinton visits Indy today


2 p.m. update: Hillary Clinton tackled topics ranging from gun violence to mental health during her Sunday afternoon rally at Douglass Park Gymnasium.

After apologizing to the roughly 100 people who were unable to get inside the packed facility, Clinton talked about the importance of this year's election. She said that the country will either move forward together, or be divided against each other.

"There is no more consequential election facing our country than this 2016 presidential election," she said.

Clinton said the three big tests facing the next president will be producing positive results, keeping residents safe and uniting the country.

There are some good photos at the link, but my embed links don't seem to work.

Black Women Rally Behind Hillary Clinton


Overwhelming support from voters and officeholders has propelled the Democratic front-runner

"A woman who lost the nomination to the first African-American president is going to win the nomination because of African-Americans,” said Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster.

No group has rallied behind Mrs. Clinton as decisively as women of color, and their expanding roles in politics—as voters, officeholders and activists—has lifted her campaign in multiple ways.

Exit polls show turnout by black women in Democratic primaries is significantly higher than turnout by black men, in several cases more than double. And black women have overwhelmingly supported the former senator and secretary of state over rival Bernie Sanders—with 90% or more of them voting for her in some states. In New York, she took 79% of their votes on her way to an easy victory, the exit polls show.

I LOVE these women who have all walked the walk - and more!

US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Endorses Hillary Clinton, John Kasich


The nation's largest Latino business group today announced that it is endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John Kasich for president, bypassing Ted Cruz, the only Latino left in the presidential race.

"Secretary Clinton has stood with the USHCC and the Hispanic community at-large for decades," USHCC president and CEO Javier Palomarez said in a statement. "For more than 40 years, Secretary Clinton has fought to ensure that those who are willing to work hard in America have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead."
This is the first time ever that the group endorses any presidential candidate. USHCC advocates on behalf of the nation's more than four million Latino-owned businesses that together contribute $661 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

The Line That May Have Won Hillary Clinton the Nomination

Clinton left a rhetorical door open for Sanders to connect Wall Street and race, but he didn’t do it


This is an interesting read, whatever one thinks of Matt Taibbi.

Earlier this year, at a union rally in Henderson, Nevada, Hillary Clinton introduced a new theme in her stump speeches.

"If we broke up the big banks tomorrow," Clinton asked, "would that end racism?"

Logically, it was an odd thing to say. After all, lots of things worth doing, even political things, won't "end racism."

But from a practical point of view, Clinton's gambit was brilliant politics. It effectively caricaturized Sanders as a one-note candidate too steeped in attacking billionaires to see the problems of people down on Main Street. And the line fit in a tweet, making it perfect for rocketing around the Internet.
According to one study, about two-thirds of all subprime loans between 2000 and 2007 were made to people who already owned their homes. The targets were often elderly, in particular men and women of color. Visiting loan officers convinced these borrowers to use the homes they'd poured their savings into their whole lives as ATM machines.

The pitch was: refinance your home, and get a little extra spending money each month! Lots of people went for it. But there was mischief hidden in the fine print of many of these "refi" deals, which often quickly exploded. Before long, the now-departed agent's promises would evaporate into a toxic quicksand of debt, unforeseen penalties and foreclosure.

Like a lot of reporters who covered the crash era, I initially misunderstood the profound racial element in the subprime drama. This wasn't the S&L crisis or the Enron-era accounting scandals or even the Internet bubble, a speculative craze that devoured the savings of white Middle America.

No, Donald Trump, beating Hillary Clinton will not be easy for you


Trump offered a few arguments for his electability in his Tuesday victory speech. He made the familiar case that he would attract votes from white, working-class men. He talked about traveling around New York and seeing hollowed-out industrial towns. He reminded his audience that Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he linked to the economic hardship among blue-collar workers. With his usual lack of detail, he insisted that he would force companies to stop outsourcing manufacturing jobs. Taking his populism in a slightly new direction, he made a play for Bernie Sanders voters, talking about how Clinton “is funded by Wall Street” and insisting that “The Democrats have treated Bernie very badly.” He also painted Clinton as incompetent. “She knows nothing about jobs, except jobs for herself,” he said. “She doesn’t have the strength, she doesn’t have the stamina…to deal with China or other things.” Trump predicted that he would put states such as New York in play in the general election.

This is a fantasy. It is highly unlikely that white working class Democrats who have not already defected to the Republican Party are likely to do so now. After reviewing survey data, political scientist Charlotte Cavaillé concluded that, rather than causing a defection of blue-collar Democrats into his camp, Trump is mostly benefiting from defections that have already happened. His only hope would be “dramatically increasing the turnout among the younger and politically unaffiliated white working class,” she concluded. Given that Trump is the least popular candidate among the general public, with poor favorability numbers even among white men, that probably would not be enough.

Trump would have to use gains among blue-collar voters to offset losses among minorities and women, among others. He did little to offer minority voters, particularly Latinos, a reason to change their feelings toward him Tuesday night, repeating his familiar talking points on immigration. But he did discuss women. As usual, he insisted that he would be great for women. But then he said this about Clinton: “The only card she has is the women’s card.” He insisted that she would not get 5 percent of the vote if she were a man. It is not clear whether he was trying to appeal to women or men. It could be that he wants to stoke resentment among men who see talk of women’s issues as inappropriate identity politics. But he could also be attempting to stoke resentment among women who feel as though Clinton expects them to vote for her based on their shared gender, a sentiment that circulated among some Sanders voters during the New Hampshire primaries. His conclusion hinted at the latter intent: “The beautiful thing is, women don’t like her,” Trump said.

Except women really don’t like Trump. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 69 percent of women view the GOP frontrunner negatively. His campaign appears to believe that he can turn his negatives around. But his numbers are historically bad. Trump may think that he can fool most of the people, but he has only shown that he can fool some of the people.
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