From New Scientist:
Who would have guessed that Earth's oceans are older than the sun? Much of the water on our planet and around the solar system started out as tiny grains of ice floating in interstellar space. The discovery provides important clues about not only the make-up of our solar system, but also what planets around other stars might be like.
"Water is an essential ingredient that pretty much all known forms of life on Earth need to flourish," says Ilsedore Cleeves at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "To understand where water came from tells us a little bit about how common life is in the universe."
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Burr's eye surgery and subsequent treatment have been more involved than is typical. Some procedures have been experimental. We have noticed a slowdown, especially during the past week.
His recovery is accelerating.
We expect that he will be back in shape within the next few days.
This from a FoxNews Personality
We should have been profiling on September 12, 2001. Let's take a trip down memory lane here: the last war this country won, we put Japanese-Americans in internment camps. We dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers.
Yes, profiling would be at least a good start. It's not on skin color, however. It's on ideology. Muslim, Islamists, jihadist-that's a good start but only a start.
We need to stop giving Korans to Gitmo prisoners. We need to stop having Ramadan celebrations in the White House. We have to stop saying the enemy is not Islamic; they are. That's how you get started.
Jonathan Hoenig, September 20, 2014
From The New Republic:
Wednesday's Politico Playbook contained a massive scoop that Mike Allen, uncharacteristically, had buried in the email newsletter: “New effort reminds everyone that Republicans are people, too.”
The blurb noted the launch of a website, RepublicansArePeopleToo.com, that aims to combat the partisan rancor directed at the GOP. In short: to humanize Republicans demonized by the left as women-hating, nature-destroying Fox News addicts.
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India's Mars Orbiter Mission successfully entered Mars' orbit Wednesday morning, becoming the first nation to arrive on its first attempt and the first Asian country to reach the Red Planet.
"We have gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and human imagination," declared India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who watched from the space agency's nerve center in Bangalore. "We have accurately navigated our spacecraft through a route known to a very few."
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From ABC News:
The federal prison population has dropped in the last year by roughly 4,800, the first time in several decades that the inmate count has gone down, according to the Justice Department.
In a speech Tuesday in New York City, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department expects to end the current budget year next week with a prison population of roughly 215,000 inmates. It would be the first time since 1980 that the federal prison population has declined during the course of a fiscal year.
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Campaigning with Kansas legend Bob Dole on Tuesday, Sen. Pat Roberts warned attendees at a Dodge City event that the United States was on the path to “national socialism.”
“There’s a palpable fear among Kansans all across the state that the America that we love and cherish will not be the same America for our kids and grandkids, and that’s wrong,” Roberts said, according to a video of the event posted on the YouTube account of the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge.
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Michelle Nunn’s own plan says she funded organizations linked to terrorists. She’s for amnesty, while terrorism experts say our border breakdown could provide an entry for groups like Isis.
- Campaign Ad for David Perdue (R-GA), September 17, 2014
We haven't seen accusations on this scale within an official political ad in a while. We have seen a member of the state department attacked by a few conservatives. The parallels are striking.
A couple of years ago, Michele Bachmann and a few other conservatives warned about terrorist fellow travelers infiltrating the State Department. They specifically pointed to Huma Abedin, an aide to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Huma Abedin's previous claim to fame had been her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, the sex-texting representative who resigned in humiliation.
It seemed Ms. Abedin's father, now deceased, had once had ties with individuals who, later in life, developed ties with others who had ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which brotherhood eventually formed ties with terrorist groups. One of the first to defend Ms. Abedin was Congressman Keith Ellison, one of only two Muslims in Congress.
It's like a bizarre game of six degrees of separation. She mentions that her father, who has been dead for two decades, knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy who was connected to the Muslim brotherhood in some unspecified way!
- Keith Ellison (D-MN), July 19, 2012
Michele Bachmann answered Representative Ellison by attacking his patriotism. Prominent Republicans, like John McCain and John Boehner defended Huma Abedin and denounced the attacks against her.
I don’t know Huma, but from everything that I do know of her she has a sterling character. Accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.
- John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House, July 26, 2012
The latest attack, this time against Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, follows similar logic. She once worked as a director of MissionFish, which merged with the Thousand Points of Light Foundation, an organization started by President H. W. Bush. Michelle Nunn ran the Bush Foundation for a number of years. MissionFish worked through internet technology to make it easier to contribute to charitable organizations around the world. MissionFish was sold to ebay for use as a charitable fundraising group.
After Michelle Nunn retired from the Thousand Points of Light Foundation, one small group that eventually qualified for funding by MissionFish was called Islamic Relief USA.
That group had the word "Islamic" in the title. It was part of a community of Islamic charities, Islamic Relief Worldwide. That larger organization was accused by an Israeli official of having ties to Hamas. It now appears the accusation came from a similarity of names with another group.
When Michelle Nunn was considering a run for the US Senate from Georgia, she had her staff put together a list of the dirtiest, most vicious possible attacks that Republicans might launch against her.
That explains, after a fashion, the way David Perdue describes Michelle Nunn’s relationship to the organization. Michelle Nunn’s own plan says she funded organizations linked to terrorists. Actually, Michelle Nunn’s own plan says she might be accused by unethical Republicans of funding organizations linked to terrorists.
Neil Bush, son of former president George H.W. Bush, had run the Points of Light Foundation for some years. He condemned the Perdue attack, calling it "shameful," and defended Michelle Nunn.
To attack an organization founded by my father, whose integrity is unimpeachable, to smear our organization for political gain, is in my opinion shameful.
- Neil Bush, September 22, 2014
Let's review. Michelle Nunn once worked for a charity that merged with a group started by President Bush, which she ran for a number of years. The smaller group was later was sold to a third group. Then she retired. The smaller group which was then run by that third group helped fund thousands of charities. One of those thousands contributed to another group that was accused of having terrorist connections. That charge apparently was caused by confusion with yet another group with a similar name.
Someone in Michelle Nunn's campaign wrote an analysis that speculated about what dirty tactics might be used by unethical opponents. One of those tactics was the possible accusation of that she funded terrorists.
Now her Republican opponent says Michelle Nunn’s own plan says she funded organizations linked to terrorists.
You might say It's like a bizarre game of six degrees of separation.
Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) proves that firearms are rarely used to stop criminals, according to the Violence Policy Center (VPC) report Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use.
In 2010, across the nation there were only 230 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm reported to the FBI. That same year, there were 8,275 criminal gun homicides.
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From The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin:
A self-described militia group claims to be checking names on the 2012 Scott Walker recall petition and plans to confront those found to have outstanding warrants or tax defaults at the polls on Nov. 4.
"We prefer our people be armed," reads a Facebook post by Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia, screen captured on a blog at Politicususa.com.
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From The Hill:
Google said on Monday it doesn't plan on funding the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council in the future due to the organization's climate change skepticism.
During an interview on NPR's "The Diane Rehm Show," Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said the company regretted funding a political campaign for ALEC, even though it was on a different topic.
"And so we should not be aligned with such people — they're just, they're just literally lying," he added.
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From The New York Times:
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced rules on Monday that are aimed at making it more difficult for American companies to lower their tax bills by relocating overseas and that would wipe out the benefits for those that do. It is the administration’s latest move to sidestep a paralyzed Congress and tackle a politically charged element of President Obama’s agenda.
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After O.J. Simpson murdered his ex-wife, then killed a witness who happened upon the scene at the wrong time, a theory of innocence developed. He was framed by a conspiracy. The theory had a number of problems.
The conspiracy involved a vast number of police personnel who did not know each other before the crime. Had a single one of many strangers not signed on, jail would have been a possibility for many.
Evidence would have had to have been planted while photographers were doing their jobs. How would an individual officer know what photos had already been taken? A picture that showed evidence that another did not would have put someone in jail.
The risk to career and reputation would have been intense. And for what? To frame an innocent man whose previous encounters with police had been so friendly they left his ex-wife without protection?
The final straw was when O.J. dismissed evidence involving Bruno Magli shoes. He would never wear such "ugly ass" shoes. Photos were eventually found in the archives of the Buffalo Bills football team of Simpson wearing those shoes while covering a game some years before the murder.
I remember thinking that now the Buffalo Bills were in on the let's-frame-conspiracy.
There are actual conspiracies, of course. We knew that well before Watergate changed our vocabulary, putting "gate" at the end of every potential scandal.
Most conspiracy stories that I encounter, at least those involving criminality, dissolve under even cursory examination. How many conspirators does a conspiracy take to succeed? Too many, and the chances of being caught expand like a balloon about to break. What is the penalty if caught? What is the motivation? If the risk outweighs the benefit, it tends to degrade any willingness to participate.
Conspiracy tales need to pass a threshold before we can buy them. A plot by a couple of Russian Muslims to blow up innocent people in Boston is believable. A plot by a majority of American Muslims in some municipality to replace secular law with sharia is not.
The numbers of conspirators needed, the risk of being caught, the penalties, convince me that the first Kennedy assassination was likely not a conspiracy. The Martin Luther King assassination was, at least after the fact, a conspiracy.
The conspiracy theory put forth by Governor Nathan Deal, Republican of Georgia, seems unlikely. It is a theory largely bereft of detail as he tries to explain the high unemployment rate in his state.
It's ironic that in a year in which Republican governors are leading some of the states that are making the most progress, that they almost, without exception, are classified as having a bump in their unemployment rates. Whereas states that are under Democrat governors' control, they are all showing that their unemployment rate has dropped.
Now, I don't know how you account for that. Maybe there is some influence here that we don't know about. But when you say that California is in a better position in terms of unemployment than the state of Georgia, there's just something that just does not ring true.
- Governor Nathan Deal (R-GA), September 18, 2014
The state unemployment rate has jumped way up to 8.1 percent. That's according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in a routine list published on September 19, 2014. That's the highest unemployment rate in the nation. It's higher than Mississippi, which had been the state with the highest rate until they got bumped by Georgia.
It's hard to say just what conspiracy Governor Deal has in mind. He's only pointing out "some influence here that we don't know about." He seems a little indignant about it.
His argument was undermined by his own administration, however. The day before the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published their list, the Georgia state labor department published its own report. It showed the exact same unemployment rate for Georgia, 8.1 percent.
So the conspiracy involves, not just the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but also the state labor department of Georgia. That would be the labor department within Governor Deal's own administration.
This is certainly a wide and ever growing conspiracy with the goal of influencing a couple of routine reports on unemployment. The governor has not yet mentioned the part played by the Buffalo Bills football team.
Slurs are slurs, even if they were commonly used when we were kids. The time of our childhood ought to be gone.
After the Governor and Senator get through the election, Kansas Republicans have nothing to worry about. Unless they do.
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