Last time we finished our discussion of diamond, and now we move to what is pretty incorrectly called amorphous carbon. Truly amorphous materials. like glass, have no true crystal structure (although there may be some local microstructures) that[...]
Read The Full Article:
Sorry, Judge Bacharach, but despite the supposed strong support of your Oklahoma home-state loons (the wackiest duo in the Senate), you won't be filling that vacancy on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this term, thanks to the triumphant completion of the Senate Republicans' 2009-12 Campaign of Judicial Obstruction.
It's a fantasy of mine, and unfortunately an utterly unachievable one. But off the performance, for want of a bettter word, of Republican obstructionists with regard to presidential appointees in the present administration, notably in the case of judicial nominees (something both Howie and I have written about frequently here), I've been wishing that Democrats would take a secret oath that from now on, as long as there are at least 40 Democratic votes in the Senate, no Republican presidential appointee will ever be confirmed for any job with the possible exception of White House toilet-cleaner.
It's unachievable, first, because there's that cadre of Senate Democrats who are in fact more likely to vote for a Republican appointee than a Democratic one, and are likely to bridge any gap the GOP may have in reaching the 60 votes that would be needed to reach 60 votes, assuming Senate Democratic leaders actually insist on requiring a filibuster-proof majority for those confirmations. Those Democrats would probably blither something about a president being entitled to have his own appointees confirmed, since after all it's what the people voted for. (Get the joke?)
More important, though, a strategy of blanket obstruction that only Republicans could get away with -- in just the way the Republican policy of congressional obstruction all the time, which should having Americans vowing to vote for plants and single-cell animals sooner than any Republican, has gone essentially unnoticed by the American electorate. And now, just as we've all been predicting since early 2009, when the Republican strategy began to fold, the Party of Lies has the chutzpah to scream bloody murder about what the president has failed to accomplish.
Some months ago, in a post I haven't been able to dig out, I congratulated the Senate Republicans, whose job is supposed to be to "advise and consent" on presidential appointments, on reaching the home stretch in their actual campaign to smear and obstruct. The occasion for that post was a reminder by someone that, practically speaking, all they had to do was hold the line till July and they were home free, because by that time in the final year of a president's term, senators -- at least Republican senators -- consider it too late in the term for proper consideration of Democratic presidential nominees. Of course they have a way of expecting Republican presidential nominees to be speedily approved, the way they always do, even when the appointees in question should more properly be considered for relocation to a loony bin or a zoo.
Well, it's more or less official now. The Republicans, in addition to managing some final assaults on the character of appointees who are many orders of magnitude more fit for public service than the the most nearly serviceworthy of them, have now pretty much declared the season of presidential appointment approvals over and done with. The Washington Post'sAl Kamen's has been keeping watch on the judicial-confirmation numbers. Here's his "In the Loop" report from earlier in the week.
Judicial wannabes? chances -- slim to none
By Al Kamen
The Senate?s rejection Monday of Oklahoma Magistrate Judge Robert Bacharach for an appeals court seat sent a clear message to the three other appeals court nominees hoping for a vote on the Senate floor:
Ditto for 16 district court nominees also pending on the floor. The odds of judicial confirmations after this August recess are exceptionally slim -- at best. The Cubs will win the pennant before you?ll be putting on the black robes.
There were no nominees confirmed after the August recess when President Clinton was running for reelection in 1996 and only three when President Bush was running for a second term in 2004 -- although five got in during the lame duck.
Still, a whopping 13 Bush I nominees, including two for circuit court seats, were confirmed after the August recess in 1992, according to Senate Judiciary Committee statistics.
Four Clinton judicial picks were confirmed after the recess in 2000, when Bush and Al Gore were running, and 10 Bush II judges were confirmed during the Obama-McCain campaign, the committee reports.
So with the numbers pretty much set, let?s recap.
President Obama, who started off slowly in getting nominations up to the Senate, never fully caught up. He?s nominated fewer judges (200) than either Bush (228) or Clinton (245) on August 1 of their fourth year in office, according to committee statistics.
At the same time, the Senate has confirmed a smaller percentage (78) of Obama nominees than Clinton?s nominees (80.8 percent) and a much smaller percentage than Bush?s nominees (86.4).
As a result, Obama, with 78 vacancies, may be the first president in decades to end his first term with more judicial vacancies than when he started.
Senate blocks Obama judge nominee#
By Al Kamen
Senate Democrats failed Monday evening in an effort to end a filibuster on the nomination of Magistrate Judge Robert Bacharach to a seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
With 60 votes needed to break the filibuster by Republican members, the Democrats failed by 4 votes. All 51 Democrats present voted to end the roadblock to the Oklahoma judge?s elevation.
They were joined by two independents. Three Republicans -- Sens. Olympia Snowe (Me.); Susan Collins (Me.) and Scott Brown (Mass.) -- broke ranks to vote with the Democrats to allow the nomination to come to an up-or-down vote
But enough GOP senators fell in line behind a reported party decision to freeze any action now on circuit court nominations -- something that has become a Senate tradition in presidential election years.
Even Oklahoma GOP Sens. Tom Coburn and James Inhofe, who had strongly backed Bacharach, voted "present," as did Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, effectively voting to maintain the filibuster.
Bacharach, who was nominated in January, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote, with one recorded vote against him.
Monday's vote, observers said, makes it highly unlikely that the other three appeals court nominations pending on the Senate floor will be approved this year.
A 2010 FBI interrogation ?primer? (PDF), apparently a fifth version of earlier FBI manuals dealing with ?Cross-cultural, Rapport-based? ?intelligence-oriented interrogations in overseas environments,? repeatedly draws upon advice from two CIA torture[...]
Read The Full Article:
Click here to view this media (h/t Heather of VideoCafe)
Being one of the Villager Elite means never having to account for your failures. And Carly Fiorina has had a lot of failures in her life.
Her star power rose with her meteoric rise to the head of Lucent Technologies. But even as Fortune Magazine was touting her as one of the most powerful women in the country, Lucent's own books reflected the same fast and loose accounting and reckless leveragingthat characterized the elites' trashing of the economy. But you know what the Villagers paid attention to: her $65 million paycheck.
Her record at HP is a little better known, although equally ignored by the media. But what do the Villagers care about? That $45 million golden parachute to exit the former Fortune 500 company she ran into the ground.
Since exiting HP, Fiorina has dabbled in politics, advising the failed John McCain campaign on economics (an area in which voters distinctly distrusted the candidate) before launching her own failed campaign to unseat Barbara Boxer (though she did win the distinction of one of the ugliest and most incomprehensible campaign ads).
So let's recap, shall we? Failed running of two major corporations, failed political campaigns, elite disregard of responsible economic growth, lay offs and big money payoffs for a distinct lack of success.
So tell me, what about her track record would cause CNN to go to Carly Fiorina for her take on the economy?
Good news for polling junkies: pollsters seem to be picking up their pace a bit, and we're finally starting to see some state polls released on the weekends.
Read The Full Article:
Click here to view this media
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday said President Barack Obama's plan to let tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire was "stupid."
During an interview on CNN, host Candy Crowley asked Graham if he would be willing to raise taxes on the middle class if Democrats refused to extend tax cuts for people making over $250,000.
"I'm not going to do a short-term thing that's stupid," the South Carolina Republican remarked. "It would be stupid in an economy this weak to raise tax rates on a million small businesses at a time they can't hire people now."
"If you're looking for a job, this election is not about Romney's tax returns, it's about your tax returns," he continued. "Both candidates should pledge, 'If I get to be president of the United States, we're going to do Bowles-Simpson [debt-cutting plan].'"
"And neither one of them has," Crowley noted.
"I think Romney has said he would embrace Bowles-Simpson," Graham insisted. "The fact that he rejects raising taxes at a time our economy is so weak is a good sign of leadership."
Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives rejected a plan similar to the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson proposal.
Here is a template for the Ordinance to Protect your city from drones we encourage all communities to defend themselves against the imminent threat for drones in the United States. Earlier this year Congress passed a bill ordering the FAA to open up our[...]
Read The Full Article:
Does recent polling hint that John Boehner will be weeping come Nov. 7th?
(image created by Jed Lewison)After 10 years of teaching Advanced Placement American Government, I feel like I might owe about 600-700 students an apology.
You see, for years, when I get to the lesson about public opinion polling, internal polling?polls sponsored by a campaign or an interested outside group?gets seriously pooh-poohed. "Don't read too much into them," I have repeatedly cautioned.
It is then that the standard caveats are eagerly offered. A campaign may conduct a dozen polls, and only release the single one that is amenable to them. Plus, you can never be sure that things like question wording and the order of questions in the survey haven't mucked up the trial heat numbers. Plus, in the worst cases, the organizations or campaigns may be less than honest about how they arrived at those lofty trial heat numbers (think: the always sketchy "push poll").
Not that any of these caveats aren't legitimate?indeed, all of them are. What's more: It is accepted practice in the political press to examine any internal poll results and offer the immediate caution that these polls should be taken "with a grain of salt."
However, the time has come for me to atone for my sins, and offer some counterpoint. A little time, plus a not-so-little database of polls (over 6,000 in all, culled from the last three election cycles), offer legitimate evidence that internal polls can tell us a heck of a lot more than we might think about the state of play in an election. Indeed, by looking at larger lessons, and not necessarily individual horse-race results, there is a fair amount of predicting value hidden amidst all those data points encrusted in grains of salt.
Three lessons in particular warrant keeping an eye on, as what has already been a pretty laudable load of data (over 1,000 polls thus far, according to my own unofficial tally) will only grow exponentially by November.
And those three lessons await you just past the jump ...
Penn State Nittany Lions was hit with a $60 million fine as well as a band from postseason play for four years. I was talking to a friend of mine because I hadn't paid much attention to the NCAA sanctions he didn't think that the NCAA one far enough. I guess the question is when
Read The Full Article:
Before I start this post I would like to say congrats and big up to my yawdie fam for going one two in the men's 100 meter final in London. Once again a major fail on NBC's part. (This is getting old.)They chose to show us horses and beach volleyball instead of live coverage of the race which is a joke. Yeah I get the whole prime time stuff, but this is Sunday damn it!
And before I leave London I would also like to comment on another fake controversy created by certain people who want to diminish the accomplishments of a truly great American athlete.
Yes, Serena Williams did the crip walk, (Heaven help us, now white folks have something else from black popular culture to obsess over.) get over it, it's a dance. The girl is from Compton, California for crying out loud!
"This was also the extraordinary American tennis star losing control for a moment and Crip-Walking at Wimbledon. Blinded by her joy, she walked all over her crowning moment.
On the podium, the gold medal dangling from her neck as America?s national anthem played, the winds of Wimbledon struck down the American flag from its awning. The crowd gasped. Serena?s eyes got big, and she giggled. The flag fluttered to the ground and was balled up by an Olympic official. Later, Serena joked that the flag was just trying to fly toward her: ?It was probably flying to come hug me because the flag was so happy.?
Or maybe it was the Royal Gods of Wimbledon, giving Queen Serena a proper British slap on the wrist for her moment of innocent, though unfortunate, American celebration."
Give me a break! She is a tennis player! The republic will survive. I dare say that we have more serious stuff going on in these divided states of America than a damn tennis player dancing for her sister and sharing a moment from their childhood.
Finally, speaking of serious things going on in America, I would like to acknowledge the horrific shooting that took place in Wisconsin today in that Sikh temple. (I see you Wayne LaPierre)
I am going to reserve saying what I am thinking until more facts come out, but right now it is being called an act of "domestic terrorism."
I will say this, -because I try to educate on this blog- Sikhs are not Muslims. They are members of a totally different religious sect. They are often Indians and not Middle Eastern, they do not worship Islam, and they are disciples of Guru and not Muhammad.
Sikhs have been targeted for harassment ever since 911 in this country, because most of the people who do such things aren't smart enough to figure out the difference between the two.
But anyway, here we go again, I will probably have more to say about this tomorrow. Probably.
Read The Full Article: