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Journal Archives

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1 - Trumpcare (hang the name on him forever)

Toon - Vultures

Senate Dem: Gorsuch, Thomas and Alito like 'horsemen of the apocalypse'

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) on Monday called conservative Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas "the three horsemen of the apocalypse" waiting for a fourth justice to join their ranks.

Hirono's comments came hours after the high court decided to partially grant the Trump administration's request to lift a stay and implement his travel ban barring people from six predominantly Muslim countries from coming to the U.S. The court agreed to examine the entire executive order at a later date.

"Neil Gorsuch, who I did not support as a Supreme Court justice, he's joined two of the most conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Alito on the court to take the position that the entire injunction should have been lifted," Hirono said on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

"This is like the three horsemen of the apocalypse, and they're waiting for the fourth one to come along so that they can go on their trend toward what I call our extremism," she added.


One billion suns: World's brightest laser sparks new behavior in light

Physicists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are seeing an everyday phenomenon in a new light.

By focusing laser light to a brightness one billion times greater than the surface of the sun -- the brightest light ever produced on Earth -- the physicists have observed changes in a vision-enabling interaction between light and matter.

Those changes yielded unique X-ray pulses with the potential to generate extremely high-resolution imagery useful for medical, engineering, scientific and security purposes. The team's findings, detailed June 26 in the journal Nature Photonics, should also help inform future experiments involving high-intensity lasers.

Donald Umstadter and colleagues at the university's Extreme Light Laboratory fired their Diocles Laser at helium-suspended electrons to measure how the laser's photons -- considered both particles and waves of light -- scattered from a single electron after striking it.


USS Fitzgerald reportedly ignored cargo ships warnings before deadly impact

The captain of the Filipino cargo ship that struck USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan, killing seven U.S. sailors, claims the Navy destroyer ignored his ship’s emergency signals before the fatal impact, Reuters reports .

The news service obtained an investigation statement from the skipper of the massive container ship ACX Crystal detailing the vessel’s account of the June 17 collision (emphasis added):

In the first detailed account from one of those directly involved, the cargo ship’s captain said the ACX Crystal had signaled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald “suddenly” steamed onto a course to cross its path.

The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship, but hit the Fitzgerald 10 minutes later at 1:30 a.m., according to a copy of Captain Ronald Advincula’s report to Japanese ship owner Dainichi Investment Corporation that was seen by Reuters.

The U.S. Navy declined to comment and Reuters was not able to independently verify the account.


Monday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest






Mr Fish

Monday Toon Roundup 2- Already regretting him

Monday Toon Roundup 1 - Death Panels Await

Trumpmania Cools in This Pennsylvania Town

A Democratic mayor invited the Republican insurgent to visit last summer. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
By Albert R. Hunt

A year ago this week, Lou Mavrakis beamed as Donald Trump campaigned in economically-ravaged Monessen, Pennsylvania, promising to bring back steel jobs and punish China for unfair trade practices.

Mavrakis, the mayor of Monessen and a former steelworkers' union official, invited Trump, who then became the first presidential candidate to visit this once-flourishing western Pennsylvania town since 1960, when John F. Kennedy dropped in. By showing up in Monessen, Trump attracted national media attention as a symbol of Republican hopes to appeal to struggling, working-class, white Democrats.

Trump carried surrounding Westmoreland County, once a Democratic stronghold, by almost a 2-to-1 margin and came close in Monessen, which in local races often doesn't even have a Republican on the ballot. Mavrakis, a Democrat, didn't endorse him, but also left no doubt that he thought the Republican insurgent was sympathetic to a community that has lost thousands of jobs and is beset by drug addiction, a poor school system and a dwindling tax base.

A year later, the picture looks different. The mayor was upset in a primary last month by Matt Shorraw, a 26-year-old assistant director of the local high-school band.



The Fourth Branch of Government Is Having a Moment

All presidents must compete for influence over the executive branch, but Trump's having more trouble than most.
By Jonathan Bernstein

One effect of the Trump administration: We're getting an excellent (albeit unfortunate) education in the dangers and confusions caused by a historically weak president. Today's example: the rapidly multiplying obvious differences between POTUS and the executive branch departments and agencies.

This is not about some malevolent "deep state" scheming against the president. There are numerous examples Trump clashing with his own appointees -- some might call them his most senior cabinet members! -- who are saying and doing things that he strongly disagrees with.

The left hand of executive branch departments and agencies either don't know or don't care what the right hand of the president is up to. As an NBC News reporter noted, the Treasury Department sanctioned Russians and State blasted Saudi Arabia this week despite recent statements from Trump himself. His tweet about China and North Korea doesn't seem to match up well at all with what State has been doing. Trump deleted the sentence affirming mutual support for U.S. allies from his NATO speech reportedly over the objections of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Earlier, Trump more or less declared himself a supporter of Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, a position not shared by State. Outside of foreign affairs, he's frequently made claims about health care which not only contradict what Republicans in Congress are trying to do but also with what Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has said. Without necessarily disagreeing on policy specifics (so far!), Trump announced that Treasury was about to roll out a tax cut plan without giving them advance warning.

And of course he's been bitterly opposed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's decision to appoint an independent counsel, and fired the director of the FBI for continuing that investigation. He still only grudgingly and inconsistently accepts the conclusion of intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the 2016 election.

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