Fake President can’t comprehend someone standing up to him


Click to enlarge

❝ Donald Trump released this photo after a contentious meeting in the White House with the Speaker of the House. He may have thought the picture would help show that Nancy Pelosi was “unhinged.” Did it? We’ll let you decide. On the 1000th day of his presidency, it may go down as a defining moment.

❝ Soon after Trump released the photo, Pelosi made it her cover photo on Twitter. To her and many others, it wasn’t a photo of someone unhinged. But rather a picture of someone doing something that people rarely do with Trump, standing up to him both physically and metaphorically.

Click through to the article – and the video up top. Lawrence O’Donnell lays out a pretty clear statement what really happened.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Why are Nobel-winning scientists old, male, white and Western?


Vera Rubin, astrophysicist who confirmed the existence of Dark Matter

Somehow, Nobel Week always sneaks up like a Swedish cat burglar, stealing me from my bed very early in the morning to hear breaking news about the latest laureates. On one level, the annual ritual is a celebration of scientific discovery, and it’s wonderful to learn about the winners’ accomplishments. But the Nobels are burdened by arcane rules and biases that, for me, have removed some of the luster. As our Michael Greshko notes, when you look at the science laureates between 1901 and 2016, they are overwhelmingly older, white, male, and Western.

Last week’s batch of science winners did little to move that needle, perpetuating stereotypes about who can be a brilliant scientist. Some pundits even noted that the Physics Nobel was awarded in part for theoretical work on the mysterious cosmic substance known as dark matter—just a few years after the death of dark matter pioneer Vera Rubin. Since the awards can’t be given posthumously, Rubin is forever snubbed.

The awards have also permanently overlooked some very worthy science, and they continue to ignore the contributions of large collaborations. If anything, Nobel Week for me has become a reminder that science is a complex and messy human endeavor, and we should not shy away from looking at it critically even as we celebrate it.

By Victoria Jaggard, SCIENCE Executive Editor

I’ll second that emotion!

The 1619 Project

In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the English colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.

Here’s the link. Forgive me, but, I don’t presume that very many Americans have ever read – or studied – this tale and its effects down to this day.

Our politics hid an insecticide superior to DDT – now rediscovered

❝ “We set out to study the growth of crystals in a little-known insecticide and uncovered its surprising history, including the impact of World War II on the choice of DDT–and not DFDT–as a primary insecticide in the 20th century,” said Bart Kahr, professor of chemistry at New York University and one of the study’s senior authors…

Kahr and fellow NYU chemistry professor Michael Ward study the growth of crystals, which two years ago led them to discover a new crystal form of the notorious insecticide DDT. DDT is known for its detrimental effect on the environment and wildlife. But the new form developed by Kahr and Ward was found to be more effective against insects–and in smaller amounts, potentially minimizing its environmental impact…

❝ In addition to their chemical analyses, the researchers sought to determine if their creation had a precedent. In doing so, they uncovered a rich and unsettling backstory for DFDT. Through historical documents, they learned that DFDT was created as an insecticide by German scientists during World War II and was used by the German military for insect control in the Soviet Union and North Africa, in parallel with the use of DDT by American armed forces in Europe and the South Pacific.

❝ In the post-war chaos, however, DFDT manufacturing came to an abrupt end. Allied military officials who interviewed Third Reich scientists dismissed the Germans’ claims that DFDT was faster and less toxic to mammals than DDT, calling their studies “meager” and “inadequate” in military intelligence reports.

Professor Kahr says it best

❝ “We were surprised to discover that at the outset DDT had a competitor which lost the race because of geopolitical and economic circumstances, not to mention its connection to the German military, and not necessarily because of scientific considerations. A faster, less persistent insecticide, as is DFDT, might have changed the course of the 20th century; it forces us to imagine counterfactual science histories,” said Kahr.

Small swamp after all — Rudy, Trump, a few goons to move the money


Touchy-feely

❝ Soviet-born South Florida businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman had just finished lunch at the Trump Hotel Wednesday with the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, when the pair were arrested at the first-class gate at Dulles Airport in Virginia on charges of violating federal campaign finance laws.

The duo, the feds allege, developed a sudden interest in the American political system in 2016, using LLCs and other tricks to keep their names off of the five- and six-figure checks they sent to a Trump Super-PAC and elected Republicans they pressed to give the U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine the boot, which Trump did earlier this year, reportedly after she asked Giuliani to go through official channels if he wanted to play foreign affairs…

❝ Giuliani referred to Parnas and Fruman as his clients earlier this year, after another oligarch publicly said the pair had come to him to “demand” he set up a meeting between Rudy and a Ukrainian leader. Rudy responded by advising the pair to sue and calling for the oligarch’s arrest.

Days before their arrest, Dowd had complained to the House Intelligence Committee that its call for financial information from Parnas and Fruman was an attempt to “harass, intimidate and embarrass my clients,” who had been assisting Giuliani “in connection with his representation of President Trump.”

I won’t say “birds of a feather” — that would slander birds. More like related slime critters that crawled out of shared sewers.