And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Linkee-poo Thursday

Alligators, what can you do?

"The questions came a day after Vice President Mike Pence put the SLS rocket program on notice in regard to his desire to send humans to the lunar surface by 2024. 'If our current contractors can't meet this objective, then we'll find ones that will,' Pence said. During the House appropriations hearing, legislators from SLS states wanted to make sure NASA still plans to use the rocket for the agency's heavy-lift needs." Jobs, jobs, jobs.

"Terrestrial organisms stuck on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) have survived 533 days in the vacuum, intense ultraviolet radiation, and extreme temperature variations of space."

"A new study by University of Chicago scientists catalogued these rivers to conclude that significant river runoff persisted on Mars later into its history than previously thought. According to the study, published March 27 in Science Advances, the runoff was intense -- rivers on Mars were wider than those on Earth today -- and occurred at hundreds of locations on the red planet."

"'The FDA is proposing specific language that would explain how breast density can influence the accuracy of mammography and would recommend patients with dense breasts talk to their health care provider about high breast density and how it relates to breast cancer risk and their individual situation.'"

"Facebook announced Wednesday that it intends to ban content that glorifies white nationalism and separatism, a major policy shift that will begin next week." We'll see how that goes.

"By highlighting flaws in the college admissions process, these stories illustrate the deep inequities in access to the United States' elite universities. And the debate is surfacing some out-of-the-box ideas about what an alternative might look like. For example: What about a lottery?" I refer you to your first sentence and I believe you've missed the point of what "elite" and "selective process" actually mean.

"After Colorado voted to legalize marijuana in 2012, doctors in Denver noticed a surprising trend. Most people who visited the emergency room for cannabis-related complaints had smoked the drug. But those who ingested the drug were more likely to suffer more severe effects, including psychiatric symptoms and heart problems." It's beginning to sound like either a real issue, or a concerted effort at resurrecting Refer Madness. One of the problems of edibles is the effect of marijuana takes longer, so people are more likely to re-dose. Also marijuana sold now is much more potent than the varieties available just a decade ago (and about 10X more potent than varieties available in the 80s). Also, dosing is not exactly controlled.

"The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg blocks Kentucky from implementing the work requirements and Arkansas from continuing its program. More than 18,000 Arkansas enrollees have lost Medicaid coverage since the state began the mandate last summer."

"A 19-year-old Washington state woman will spend two days in jail after pleading guilty to pushing her friend off a bridge."

How go the Trade Wars? "China has made unprecedented proposals in talks with the United States on a range of issues including forced technology transfer as the two sides work to overcome remaining obstacles to a deal to end their protracted trade war, U.S. officials told Reuters."

"U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter last year to an annual rate of just 2.2 percent… The increase in the gross domestic product (note how that was phrased)… was revised down from an initial estimate of 2.6 percent growth in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The change reflected weakness in a number of areas. Consumer spending, business investment, government spending and housing all came in lower than first thought… Economists believe growth has slowed further in the current January-March quarter to around a 1.5 percent rate." But it's not a recession.

"LifeWay Christian Stores plans to close all of its locations by end of the year and move all of the company's retailing online. Its bricks-and-mortar division has been losing money since 2013, and the company says it's tried just about everything to keep the business going, including overhauling several stores last summer and experimenting with features like coffee bars."

How goes Brexit? "MPs hoped Wednesday's unprecedented series of "indicative votes" would help break the parliamentary deadlock over Brexit… The failure to identify a clear way forward led to angry exchanges in the Commons with critics of the process saying it had been 'an abject failure'."

"European newspapers say UK Prime Minister Theresa May's promise to quit if MPs back her Brexit deal - and the failure of Parliament to agree on any of the eight proposed alternatives - have plunged Britain deeper into paralysis."

"British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday that she will resign if Parliament will pass her Brexit deal, which has already been defeated twice."

"Icelandic budget airline WOW Air ceased operations on Thursday, stranding passengers across two continents. In a statement on its website the airline, which had earlier suspended all its flights, told passengers there would be no further flights and advised them to check flights with other airlines for ways to reach their destinations." Iceland's other airline, Icelandair, is also suffering from the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max8.

"Democrats are putting the Green New Deal in the rearview mirror, but they’re not abandoning climate change legislation… Supporters of the progressive measure are shifting their sights away from passing a comprehensive plan to create green jobs and pursue 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. They are instead looking at multiple bills in hopes of advancing elements of the broader initiative." The problem is climate change will kill us no matter what we want to call it.

"President Trump's pick for a powerful post on the Federal Reserve Board is drawing mounting criticism from economists of all stripes… Trump said on Friday that he plans to nominate Stephen Moore, a campaign adviser and conservative pundit, to serve on the Fed's Board of Governors." Appointing Wrong Way Feldmann to navigator position is not a good strategy.

A black man not being prosecuted? Well, we can't have that. "President Donald Trump says the FBI and Department of Justice will review the case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago."

"Federal agents apprehended more than 4,000 migrants crossing the border on each of two days this week — the highest daily total recorded in 15 years, according to a senior official with Customs and Border Protection… 'The breaking point has arrived,' said CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan in a news conference Wednesday in El Paso, Texas… 'CBP is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest border — and nowhere has that crisis manifested more acutely than here in El Paso,' McAleenan said." Please note the crisis he's talking about is that he can no longer enforce the Zero Tolerance policy of the Trump administration. So they're having to release immigrants with only their promise to show up at their court dates, like we've done since the 80s. This is an entirely manufactured crisis brought upon the US because of the intentional policies of the Trump administration (closing immigration offices in Central America, zeroing out assistance payments to those countries, exporting gangs like MS13 (which, okay, happened during GW Bush), inability to reduce the drug culture in the US, and our failure to address climate change). What we are seeing here are the fruits of those policies. And as the climate continues to warm, these streams of human migration out of tropical zones into temperate zones will increase.

"More than 100 migrants are in custody after they allegedly commandeered a Turkish cargo ship that rescued them off the coast of Libya."

"The U.S. Air Force says it needs $4.9 billion in new funding over the next two and a half years to cover the costs of rebuilding two air bases hit by natural disasters." I'm sorry, we gotta build a wall instead.

"Parscale delivered a talk on Thursday at the Romanian Academy with the title 'Let’s Make Political Marketing Great Again' in the presence of numerous personalities of Romania’s political and academic elite… he shared fascinating details about the Trump campaign’s plans to use 1.6 million volunteers in a data-driven, large-scale ground game operation to win the next Presidential election . During his three-day stay in Bucharest, Parscale also gave an extended public interview in prime time on a popular TV news station and met with various local business and political leaders." Social media scorched-earth campaigning. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Federal prosecutors are close to bringing charges against Greg Craig, a prominent Democratic lawyer and former White House counsel in the Obama administration, in a case that originated with special counsel Robert Mueller, according to people familiar with the matter."

"President Trump says he will release the full and unredacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and related documents used by the FBI in its probe of his campaign, now that special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation. 'At the right time, we will be absolutely releasing' them, Mr. Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity Wednesday night." I'm sure his lawyers will find a reason to not release them. Like they did last time. I've got a better idea, though, release the Mueller Report.

"Former FBI Director James Comey, in his first television interview since special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation, said the principal findings of the probe show President Donald Trump's blistering criticism of the FBI were lies and his attempt to destroy the agency had failed."

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