Archive of Articles in the "Science" Category

Trump, Media Haven't Changed

[ Posted Monday, September 18th, 2023 – 16:27 UTC ]

Donald Trump hasn't changed. That was my big takeaway from watching his performance on this week's Meet The Press, where Kristen Welker started her new stint as host of the program by scoring a blockbuster interview with Trump. This is the first such interview he has given in a long time: on network television which is not part of the right-wing echo chamber. And it went about how you'd expect (assuming you haven't been in a coma for the past eight years). Trump flooded the zone with lies, distortions, conspiracy theories, and general blithering, and the poor benighted host simply couldn't keep up. So two big takeaways, really: Donald Trump hasn't changed, and (sadly) neither has the media.

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H.H.S. Calls For Major Retreat In Federal War On Weed

[ Posted Thursday, August 31st, 2023 – 15:12 UTC ]

Could we finally be approaching the official end to the federal "War On Weed"? That possibility now exists thanks to the Department of Health and Human Services, who just made a recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Agency. And while it is not the unconditional surrender that pro-cannabis activists have been hoping for, it certainly would be the first major retreat in this metaphorical battlefield ever. If the H.H.S. advice is adopted by the D.E.A., the federal government would scale back a position that can only be described as "Draconian," and instead adopt a position that is a whole lot closer to reality.

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Friday Talking Points -- Quad-Indicted?

[ Posted Friday, August 18th, 2023 – 16:54 UTC ]

Once again, the political week was dominated by news of Donald Trump. And we can all now properly identify Trump as a "twice-impeached, four-times-indicted ex-president." Sadly, the English language stops after "once... twice... thrice..." so there is no (legitimate) snappier way to say that (although we would suggest "quad-indicted," since it does seem to have a ring to it... but we digress...).

Linguistic kidding aside, Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis finally completed Trump's quartet of indictments, adding 13 more felony charges for Trump (who has now been charged with a whopping 91 felony counts in total) as well as plenty of other felonies to go around among his 18 co-defendants. Rather than take a targeted approach by just charging Trump with the easiest-to-prove-in-court charges, Willis swung for the fences and corralled all the wrongdoing within one RICO charge covering everyone. Trump and his campaign and all his legal team and even his thugs on the ground in Georgia are all now accused of being a "racketeering-influenced and corrupt organization." Sounds about right... especially after the news broke that the grand jurors who voted for the indictment have been doxxed online and are now getting threats -- just like you'd expect to see in any mob case. Trump even attempted to tamper with a witness before he even showed up to testify for the grand jury on Monday. The witness was not cowed and did testify, and very late in the evening the indictment was made public.

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Friday Talking Points -- Ohio Continues Winning Streak For Abortion Rights

[ Posted Friday, August 11th, 2023 – 17:38 UTC ]

The biggest political news of the past week came from Ohio, where the voters resoundingly rejected a stealth plan by the Republicans to kill an abortion ballot measure that will appear on November's ballot. By a 57-43 margin, the voters sent a loud "No!" to the GOP, who were trying to change the rules in the middle of the game. This will have national reverberations, especially after Buckeye voters return in a few months to enshrine abortion rights in their state's constitution.

This was merely the latest in an unbroken series of victories for those fighting for women's rights at the state level. These have included ballot measures that either directly addressed abortion or stealthily sidled up to it as well as a state supreme court race in Wisconsin -- and in all of them the forced-birth side lost. Badly.

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Waiting For A Rational Debate On Abortion

[ Posted Thursday, August 10th, 2023 – 16:28 UTC ]

Sooner or later, America is going to have to have a rational debate over abortion. When the Supreme Court tossed out Roe v. Wade, it opened the door to any state setting pretty much any restrictions on abortion they chose to. Some of these are Draconian in nature, while others are slightly more reasonable. On the other side of the divide, blue states are enshrining the right to an abortion in their state's laws or constitution. These generally mirror the protections in Roe, with some alterations in some cases. But the real end goal for both sides is going to be a national abortion law, to finally legally codify what rights all American women actually have over their own bodies. Nothing short is going to work, since much like in the Civil Rights era some states are always going to go to the extremes -- on what is essentially a very basic human right. If the states refuse to uphold basic human rights, the federal government is going to have to step in and do so.

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Friday Talking Points -- It's The Cover-Up

[ Posted Friday, July 28th, 2023 – 18:22 UTC ]

As the ghost of Richard Nixon might have warned Donald Trump: "It's not the crime, it's the cover up." While the political world was all breathlessly awaiting a new Trump indictment over the failed January 6th insurrection attempt, the special counsel surprised everyone by superseding his first indictment instead -- the one dealing with Trump's refusal to return national security documents which were not his. And it was a bombshell.

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The Truth Is Out There?

[ Posted Wednesday, July 26th, 2023 – 15:21 UTC ]

Are we alone? That question has been around since humankind began, but in the past decade or so we're finally getting closer to finding out what (if anything) the American government knows about this question that it isn't telling us. Do aliens exist? Is there proof? The House of Representatives held a public hearing on this question today, where some rather extraordinary claims were made.

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Friday Talking Points -- Programs! Getcher Programs Here!

[ Posted Friday, July 21st, 2023 – 17:49 UTC ]

We do try to resist the urge (we really do!), but this week it was impossible to focus on just about anything else in politics other than the tsunami of bad legal news for Donald Trump. Remember how Trump dominated each and every news cycle for over four years? Those days are back, sadly enough, and will likely continue (at some degree of intensity or another) for the foreseeable future. He is the quintessential car wreck towards which we all must dutifully rubberneck, so here we go....

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Friday Talking Points -- Coming Home To Roost

[ Posted Friday, May 12th, 2023 – 16:51 UTC ]

Let's make sure we all get this correct. Donald Trump is now technically not a "convicted rapist." He's not a convicted anything, because the verdict handed down against him this week was in civil (not criminal) court. And the jury balked at declaring that Trump had raped E. Jean Carroll, but they did find Trump liable for sexually attacking her and defaming her publicly. To the tune of $5 million. It only took them about three hours to do so, meaning the case was pretty iron-clad to begin with. So Donald Trump is merely the first ex-president to be found liable of being a sexual predator rather than being an actual convicted rapist.

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Friday Talking Points -- Fox On The Run

[ Posted Friday, April 21st, 2023 – 17:53 UTC ]

We admit using that subtitle dates us in a way, since we are indeed old enough to remember the popular song of the same name -- but we couldn't resist, since this week started out with Fox News caving at the last possible moment as a civil defamation trial was set to begin against them. First the trial was delayed a day and then came the bombshell news that Fox had settled with Dominion Voting Systems for a jaw-dropping $787.5 million. To state the patently obvious, you don't settle a case you fully expect to win. Fox knew it was in danger of not just losing the case (Dominion had sued for $1.6 billion, a little more than twice what Fox settled for) but having the network's dirty laundry exposed in even more painful fashion than it already had been (through releases of internal communications between executives and network personalities that were already embarrassing enough). Fox was indeed on the run, to the tune of over three-quarters of a billion dollars.

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