When the New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz first heard that the Conservative Political Action Conference, the flagship event of the American conservative movement, was being held in Hungary, he thought it might be a joke. “A lot of people have worried for a few years now that the Republican Party is becoming more ambivalent about certain bedrock norms of American democracy,” Marantz told David Remnick. “To openly state, ‘We’re going to this semi-authoritarian country’ . . . I thought it was maybe a troll.” But cpac Hungary was very real, and the event demonstrated an increasingly close relationship between American conservatives and authoritarians abroad…
Viktor Orbán wins elections and claims a democratic mandate, but his legislative maneuvers and rewrites to the constitution have rendered political opposition increasingly powerless. Marantz finds the admiration for him from many on the American right unsettling. “I couldn’t really imagine a Putin-style takeover” of power in America, Marantz says, but “this kind of technical, legalistic Orbán model” seems all too plausible.
Birds of a feather, etc…
A couple of these are wandering by, this weekend [credit ESA]
Two skyscraper-size asteroids are zooming toward Earth this weekend, with one making its closest approach on Friday (July 29) and the second whizzing by on Saturday (July 30).
The first asteroid, dubbed 2016 CZ31, will fly by around 7 p.m. ET (23:00 GMT) on Friday, whizzing at an estimated 34,560 mph (55,618 km/h, according to NASA.
Astronomers estimate that the asteroid measures about 400 feet (122 meters) across at its widest point, making it about as wide as a 40-story building is tall. The asteroid will safely miss our planet…According to NASA, this space rock makes close approaches to Earth every few years, with the next one scheduled for January 2028.
On Saturday, a second, ever larger asteroid will skim past our planet, albeit at a greater distance from Earth. That asteroid, named 2013 CU83, measures approximately 600 feet (183 m) across at its widest visible point, and will pass by about 4,320,000 miles (6,960,000 km) from Earth, or about 18 times the average distance between Earth and the moon…
…Space agencies take planetary defense very seriously. In November 2021, NASA launched an asteroid-deflecting spacecraft called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which will slam directly into the 525-foot-wide (160 m) asteroid Dimorphos in autumn 2022. The collision won’t destroy the asteroid, but it may change the space rock’s orbital path slightly, Live Science previously reported. The mission will help test the viability of asteroid deflection, should some future asteroid pose an imminent danger to our planet.
Just in case you were worried. Or needed something more than politics to worry about.