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In 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,' Planet Sovereign Defies Physics

Wired Science - 7 hours 19 min ago
Is there a physical reason why a planet might have ended up looking like some sort of fat, intergalactic caterpillar?
Categories: Bio

eBay Launches Authentication Service To Combat Counterfeit High-End Goods

Slashdot - 7 hours 28 min ago
Ecommerce giant eBay has launched a previously announced service designed to combat the scourge of fake goods on the platform. From a report: eBay has proven popular with fake goods' sellers for some time, with fashion accessories and jewelry featuring highly on counterfeiters' agenda. The company announced eBay Authenticate way back in January with a broad focus on giving "high-end" goods an official stamp of approval prior to sale. Ultimately designed to encourage buyers to part with cash on expensive items, it uses a network of professional authenticators who take physical receipt of a seller's products, validates them, and then photographs, lists, and ships the goods to the successful buyer. For today's launch of eBay Authenticate, the service is only available for luxury handbags from 12 brands, including Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Valentino, though the program will be expanded to cover other luxury goods and brands from next year. "With tens-of-thousands of high-end handbags currently available, eBay is primed to boost customer confidence in selling and shopping for an amazing selection of designer merchandise," noted Laura Chambers, vice president of consumer selling at eBay. "We also believe our sellers will love this service, as it provides them with a white-glove service when selling luxury handbags."

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Categories: Misc

Sylvania adds hub-less HomeKit LED Flex Strip and Soft White bulb to its Smart+ lineup

9to5Mac - 7 hours 40 min ago

Sylvania has added two more products to its new hub-less Smart+ lineup, the LED Flex Strip along with an A19 LED Soft White bulb. The company has also announced that a smart plug will be available soon.

more…

Categories: Misc

Progressives Should Be Fighting Back on Obamacare

Kevin Drum - 7 hours 46 min ago

Donald Trump a few minutes ago:

Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. You shouldn’t even mention it. It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore.

Needless to say, this is just the latest part of Trump’s campaign to prevent people from signing up for Obamacare. Cut the signup period in half. Eliminate outreach. Eliminate advertising. Shut down the website periodically on weekends. Cut CSR subsidies in a way that makes people think benefits have been cut. Tell everyone Obamacare is dead.

When Republicans started passing photo ID laws, progressives fought back with campaigns to get people registered to vote. Because of this, ID laws probably had only a very small effect on the election. Are progressives doing the same thing for Obamacare? It sure seems like there ought to be a huge campaign to publicize the Obamacare signup period and help people get through it. This might help fight some of Trump’s doomsaying and keep signups high. This in turn will keep Obamacare healthy despite Trump’s best efforts.

Is this happening anywhere?

Categories: Politics

Bannon rallies the GOP base against McConnell's establishment: 'This is our war'

Daily Kos - 7 hours 53 min ago

Heading into his big Monday meeting with Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got a nice shout out from his nemesis Steve Bannon. The Associated Press writes:

Steve Bannon, back at Breitbart News after helping Trump win the presidency and serving in the West Wing, is committed to dumping McConnell, R-Ky. In a speech to religious conservatives Saturday, Bannon put on notice some of those incumbents who are at risk of a challenge from his flank of the party. He said the lawmakers possibly can avoid that wrath if they disavow McConnell and meet other conditions.

“This is our war,” Bannon said. “The establishment started it. ...You all are gonna finish it.”

The White House wasn't offering much pre-meeting love either.

The senators’ weeklong recess also drew criticism from the White House: “They’re on another vacation right now. I think that we would all be a lot better off if the Senate would stop taking vacations, and start staying here until we actually get some real things accomplished,” Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said.

Trump piled on the misery of Senate Republicans at a Monday morning cabinet meeting, saying pointedly, "They're not getting the job done." But by Monday afternoon, he gave a whiplash performance alongside McConnell in the Rose Garden, assuring reporters that he was totally lockstep with Senate Republicans.

If you want to help inflict some pain on Senate Republicans in 2018, please give $3 to defeat our top Senate targets by clicking right here.
Categories: Politics

EPA Says Higher Radiation Levels Pose 'No Harmful Health Effect'

Slashdot - 8 hours 8 min ago
Readers share a report: In the event of a dirty bomb or a nuclear meltdown, emergency responders can safely tolerate radiation levels equivalent to thousands of chest X-rays, the Environmental Protection Agency said in new guidelines that ease off on established safety levels. The EPA's determination sets a level ten times the drinking water standard for radiation recommended under President Barack Obama. It could lead to the administration of President Donald Trump weakening radiation safety levels, watchdog groups critical of the move say. "It's really a huge amount of radiation they are saying is safe," said Daniel Hirsch, the retired director of the University of California, Santa Cruz's program on environmental and nuclear policy. "The position taken could readily unravel all radiation protection rules." The change was included as part of EPA "guidance" on messaging and communications in the event of a nuclear power plant meltdown or dirty bomb attack. The FAQ document, dated September 2017, is part of a broader planning document for nuclear emergencies, and does not carry the weight of federal standards or law.

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Categories: Misc

Trump Tries To Lie About Obama Not Calling Familes Of Our Fallen Soldiers

Crooks and Liars - 8 hours 17 min ago

When asked why he hasn't mentioned the four Green Berets that were killed in Niger over ten days ago, Trump told the press he wrote some letters and then claimed Obama and other U.S. Presidents "didn't make calls."

Ten days ago, the NY Times and other news outlets reported that four of our Green Berets were killed in Niger.

Since then we've heard nothing about this tragic incident from the Trump administration.

On October 11th, MSNBC's Mike Barnicle wanted to know why Trump was obsessed with ESPN hosts and the NFL while ignoring these fallen heroes. he did not receive a true answer.

During today's presser with Mitch McConnell a reporter asked, "Why haven't we heard anything from you about the soldiers that were killed in Niger?"

Trump said, "I've written personal letters. They've been sent or they're going out tonight, but they were written during the weekend."

He continued, "I will, at some point during the period of time call the parents, the families."

It's been almost two weeks, Donald. There is no stated period of time for a U.S. president to wait to pass on condolences to families that lost their loved ones serving our country.

Then he started to think about it more and as usual, he had to lie to make himself appear better.

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Categories: Politics

Trump campaign spent $1 million on lawyers in just three months

Daily Kos - 8 hours 30 min ago

Donald Trump promised he’d create jobs as president. He didn’t mention they’d mostly be jobs for lawyers representing himself and his son in the investigation into Trump campaign collusion with Russia:

The $1.1 million the campaign spent on lawyers during the third quarter of the year is nearly double what the president's fundraising committee spent on legal fees during the previous three-month period, campaign reports filed Sunday show. They include more than $237,900 to Alan Futerfas, the New York lawyer representing Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, in the Russia probes.

Another $30,000 went to Williams & Jensen, which also has helped the younger Trump in the investigation.

Yes, it’s legal, because Junior was representing the campaign, so it’s a campaign expense.

While the Trump campaign is spending a ton of money on lawyers, it’s raising a whole lot more money, so if he’s still in office at that point he’ll be going to go into 2020 with a major financial advantage over his opponents.

Categories: Politics

College presidents call for DREAM Act vote: 'These young people belong here'

Daily Kos - 8 hours 31 min ago

The presidents of George Mason University, Georgetown University, Montgomery College, and Northern Virginia Community College have penned a joint op-ed calling on Congress to pass legislation to protect undocumented immigrant youth and students, writing that “we believe, as presidents of colleges and universities, it is imperative that we protect these young people through the passage of the DREAM Act...we cannot ignore the joy they bring to our communities and the degree to which we are strengthened by their presence”:

They have grown up here in America. They’ve gone to grade school, middle school and high school with our children. They are student body presidents, medical students and doctoral candidates. Some serve in high school ROTC and volunteer in their churches. Others help single parents raising younger siblings and tutor their peers as they prepare for college. They are members of our communities.  They have done all the things we expect of our young people, and for their efforts so many have been able to earn places on our college campuses. They want — and deserve — the chance to continue learning and living in America without the constant fear of deportation.

The Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. area is home to approximately 23,000 DACA recipients, and “almost half of all DACA recipients are in school or pursuing a college degree,” according to the op-ed. Nationally, one survey estimates that 45 percent of DACA recipients are in school, with 72 percent of those pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher. “A robust 94 percent said that, because of DACA, ‘I pursued educational opportunities that I previously could not.’”

Undocumented immigrant youth aren’t just tomorrow’s leaders, they’ve already been leading for years, and our nation should embrace them on paper, not kick them out of the only home they’ve ever known.

Categories: Politics

Trump and McConnell assure everyone things are copacetic: 'We are together totally'

Daily Kos - 8 hours 36 min ago

There's no way to overstate what a show of desperation took place in the Rose Garden Monday afternoon during a joint press conference between Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

For his part, Trump touted how many tremendous successes he's had—including an "A+" rating from a former Clinton administration official on the administration's response to hurricane relief. But after bragging about his work on judicial nominations—which he boasted "will set records" then moments later said Democrats were "holding up beyond comprehension" (yes, one second, Trump was having tremendous success and, the next second, Democrats were blocking him at every turn)—Trump managed to finally say what they were really there for.

"Just so you understand, the Republican party is very very unified," he said, pointing the finger at Democrats for the GOP majority’s every failure. "When we get things approved, we have to go through hell because we have no Democrat support."

Oh, so perhaps Trump hasn't had quite as much success as he claimed, just a whole lot of “hell.” Anyway, after Trump was predictably all over the place—Puerto Rico, taxes, health care, Democrats—McConnell stepped to the mic to whittle Trump’s blunt instrument into a fine point.

"I think what the president and I would both like to say to you today, contrary to what some of you may have reported, we are together totally on this agenda to move America forward."

Okay, so Trump and McConnell are in it together today. It's only a matter of time, folks.

McConnell also conveniently made sure to tag Trump's appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch as "the single most significant thing this president has done to change America." In other words, forget all our failures, Trump's most important accomplishment is also the ONE thing we in the Senate have managed to do. He’s not wrong, in many ways. But touting your only major accomplishment as the most important accomplishment is like declaring that mud is mud.

Categories: Politics

'Deranged animal' Trump lies about calling families of troops killed in action

Daily Kos - 8 hours 43 min ago

Donald Trump showed just how much he honors America’s troops on Monday when asked about the four U.S. soldiers killed in an ISIS ambush in Niger a week ago. Trump said he had written letters to the soldiers’ families which would go out … soon. And he’d get around to calling the families “at some point during the period of time.”

But according to Trump, Trump is way ahead of the presidential curve, because “the traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I’m able to do it.” That’s right, folks, Donald Trump is The Most Empathetic President Ever who has broken with tradition by calling the families of troops killed in action. Or, as a former White House deputy chief of staff put it:

x

When reporters followed up on Trump’s claim that Obama never made those difficult phone calls, Trump responded “President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn't, I don't know, that's what I was told.” Okay, sure, you deranged animal.

Categories: Politics

Midday open thread: Impeachment, Russian trolls and Florida Man

Daily Kos - 8 hours 46 min ago
  • Today’s comic by Tom Tomorrow is The man from the past:
Cartoon by Tom Tomorrow - The man from the past

  • What you missed on Sunday Kos …
  • If you have any dirt and are in need of $10 million, PLEASE respond:

Hustler founder Larry Flynt is running a full-page ad in Sunday’s Washington Post offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the impeachment of President Trump, Fox Business reports.

For some Russian trolls, “House of Cards” was real life.

A man identified only as “Maxsim,” who said he worked for a troll factory formerly known as the Internet Research Agency in 2015, told TV station Rain that employees were taught about the American political system by Frank and Claire Underwood.

The agency was also linked to a Russian social media campaign that pretended to be associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.

A man who was arrested after police mistook the glaze on his Krispy Kreme doughnut for crystal meth has received a $37,500 settlement.

Daniel Rushing, 64, sued the city of Orlando after he was arrested in December 2015 on drug charges. Law enforcement had spotted four small flakes of glaze on his floorboard and thought they were pieces of crystal methamphetamine.

  • Remember, this is the guy charged with bringing peace to the Middle East:
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The federal government’s long campaign to try to choke off rampant conspiracy theories about the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy is threatening to end this month in massive confusion, if not chaos.

Within the next two weeks, the National Archives is legally obligated to release the last of thousands of secret documents from government files about the assassination, most of them from the CIA, the FBI and the Justice Department. [...]

The CIA has not confirmed or denied reports that it has appealed to Trump to block the release of some of the files on grounds that the documents might still somehow endanger national security if made public. 

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin feeds our weekend Trumpster fire headline habit. Fox News = Weinstein Co. (and the Trump Org.). Sex trafficking operations that used TV/film production to pay the costs of the boss’s molestation habits. How & why Facebook ruined America.

x Embedded Content

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Categories: Politics

'Spooktacular Halloween' Party At Fort Bragg Draws Criticism

Crooks and Liars - 8 hours 47 min ago

Apparently this was the image chosen to advertise a children's Halloween party at Fort Bragg, I can't imagine why little white kids in blackface as 'darkie' minstrels manipulated on strings by a white woman would cause offense, can you?

Source: WTVD

The image shows a puppeteer appearing to manipulate two children posing as puppets wearing black face makeup. The picture was used to promote a "Spooktacular Halloween party" set to happen later this month. The caption on the Facebook post urged those attending to get their costumes ready.

"It's sending the wrong message to kids," said another local, James Pearson. "White people control black people, you know? That's the way I perceive it."

Fort Bragg's MWR Facebook page has since taken the photo down. It issued an apology saying the photo should not have been posted and does not represent the views of its organization.

Despite that apology, the Bingham family finds the post offensive and continues questioning why it happened.

"How can you expect us to want to support this installation and organization when you have no respect for our people?" asked Tammi Bingham.

Categories: Politics

Google Chrome for Windows Gets Basic Antivirus Features

Slashdot - 8 hours 48 min ago
Google is rolling out a trio of important changes to Chrome for Windows users. From a report: At the heart of these changes is Chrome Cleanup. This feature detects unwanted software that might be bundled with downloads, and provides help with removing it. Google's Philippe Rivard explains that Chrome now has built-in hijack detection which should be able to detect when user settings are changes without consent. This is a setting that has already rolled out to users, and Google says that millions of users have already been protected against unwanted setting changes such as having their search engine altered. But it's the Chrome Cleanup tool that Google is particularly keen to highlight. A redesigned interface makes it easier to use and to see what unwanted software has been detected and singled out for removal.

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Categories: Misc

Seven out of 10 Americans are telling Trump he's delusional on Obamacare sabotage

Daily Kos - 8 hours 57 min ago

Campaign Action

Popular vote loser Donald Trump still seems to be operating under the assumption that no one is going to blame him when he destroys Obamacare. On this, as on most things, Trump is delusional.

Seven in ten Americans (71 percent) think President Trump and his administration should do what they can to make the current health care law work while one in five (21 percent) say they should do what they can to make the law fail so they can replace it later. The vast majority of Democrats (93 percent) say the Trump administration should do what they can to make the law work, as do about three-fourths (74 percent) of independents. Republicans are more divided in their opinions of what the Trump administration should do next. About half of Republicans (48 percent) say President Trump and his administration should do what they can to make the law work while 43 percent of Republicans say the administration should do what they can to make the law fail.

Now, the Kaiser Family Foundation didn't ask people whether they thought Democrats in Congress should do what they can to make the current health care law work, because Democrats in Congress can't do that. They can do everything in their power to try and force Trump to do the job a president is supposed to do—faithfully uphold the law—but that's about it. This is all on Trump and his fellow Republicans.

By the way, Obamacare gets majority support in this survey, again, with 51 percent of respondents in favor of the law.

Categories: Politics

Bergdahl Pleads Guilty

Balloon Juice - 9 hours 4 min ago

Closure in the Bergdahl case:

The Latest on the court-martial of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked off his post in Afghanistan (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

A military prosecutor says he has made no agreement to limit punishment for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in return for the soldier’s guilty pleas to charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

After Bergdahl entered guilty pleas to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, the prosecutor, Maj. Justin Oshana, told the judge that there’s no pretrial agreement between the two sides.

The judge, Army Col. Judge Jeffery R. Nance, spent Monday morning asking Bergdahl questions to make sure he understands what he’s pleading guilty to, and that his offenses carry a maximum punishment of life in prison. The judge asked him one last time if he wanted to plead guilty, and Bergdahl replied, “yes.”

This is the system working. I still maintain that all the people screaming “fuck him” or “leave him” are wrong, as I have said all along. You bring your men back, and if they have done something wrong, the military will deal with it.

Categories: Politics

AGR Manet is DOWN, 1508178186

AGR Manet - 9 hours 15 min ago
Categories: Misc

Trump Dumps On Mitch During Live Presser

Crooks and Liars - 9 hours 19 min ago

Let's get one thing out of the way immediately: today in Washington is about one thing and one thing only, directed at an audience of two:

Today is about getting Charles and David Koch to re-open their change purse for the Republican Party.

That's why the so-called president declared Obamacare "over."

That's why Mitch McConnell reminded everyone in the Rose Garden about the judicial appointments, including Neil Gorsuch (theft).

But keeping Donald Trump on script is a hard thing to do, isn't it Mitch? Mitch?

Categories: Politics

Day 16 since Children's Health funding expired, and 2 weeks until Nevada freezes enrollments

Daily Kos - 9 hours 24 min ago

Campaign Action

Unless the Children's Health Insurance Program is reauthorized in the next two weeks, Nevada is probably going to be forced to freeze enrollments in the program, meaning no more families will be able to get health care for their sick kids.

The state is preparing to be completely out of federal funding for the program in about six weeks. The state budgeted for the money, so if it doesn't come, they will have to have a special legislative session to try to figure out how to continue coverage for kids. Nevada isn't the only state facing disaster. All of them are, just maybe not as immediately as Nevada.

Meanwhile, the House is out on recess for a week. And House Republicans are continuing to hold CHIP hostage, demanding damaging and untenable cuts to public health and to Medicare in exchange.

"It's clear that House Republicans want to use reauthorization of children's health insurance and Community Health Centers as a way to further undermine the Affordable Care Act and weaken Medicare," [Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) ranking member on Energy and Commerce] said.

"Republicans remain fixated on sabotaging the ACA anyway they can. I reject the premise that we can only offer health care to children by taking it away from others, and, to date, Republicans refuse to budge in that regard."

Republicans want to cut public health funding included in Obamacare and put more means-testing on Medicare premiums. Those are obscene negotiating demands. They are made even more obscene by the fact that the highest priority Republicans now have is giving the top 1 percent more than $200,00 average in tax cuts every year. Which don't have to be paid for.

Categories: Politics

Trump has nominated at least six 'explicitly anti-LGBTQ activists' to federal judgeships

Daily Kos - 9 hours 30 min ago

This is a profoundly anti-LGBT administration through and through, and what should scare us even more is that Donald Trump is attempting to stack federal judgeships with hate mongers who will continue to issue decisions harmful to LGBT communities long after he’s hopefully sent packing from office:

A transgender first grade student is part of “Satan’s plan,” according to Jeff Mateer, a lawyer that Donald Trump wants to put on the federal bench. Mateer also defended “conversion therapy,” which claims to reduce same-sex attraction, and warned that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy, bestiality, and whatever the word is for a person marrying a plant.

If a same-sex couple is allowed to marry, Mateer claimed in a 2015 speech, “why couldn’t four people wanna get married? Why not one man and three women? Or three women and one man?” Then his speech got weirder. “There are people who marry themselves. Somebody wanted to marry a tree. People marrying their pets.”

Why is it that anti-LGBT extremists always jump to the most grotesque and twisted conclusions? If you want to talk threats to the sanctity of marriage, perhaps start with a president who has five children from three women. And Mateer isn’t even the most rotten apple in the barrel, with Think Progress identifying “at least half-a-dozen Trump judicial nominees with explicitly anti-LGBTQ records.”

Categories: Politics