Space: so many milestones ahead! - Space is looking up. In that more eyes appears to be turing skyward in tentative optimism. A few days ago I participated in a pair of events in Los Angeles...
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Well, all this is interesting to me, anyway, and that's what matters here. The Internet is a terrible thing for someone like me, who finds almost everything interesting.
He has bankrolled Mr. Rubio’s campaigns. He has financed Mr. Rubio’s legislative agenda. And, at the same time, he has subsidized Mr. Rubio’s personal finances, as the rising politician and his wife grappled with heavy debt and big swings in their income. ...
A detailed review of their relationship shows that Mr. Braman, 82, has left few corners of Mr. Rubio’s world untouched. He hired Mr. Rubio, then a Senate candidate, as a lawyer; employed his wife to advise the Braman family’s philanthropic foundation; helped cover the cost of Mr. Rubio’s salary as an instructor at a Miami college; and gave Mr. Rubio access to his private plane.
The money has flowed both ways. Mr. Rubio has steered taxpayer funds to Mr. Braman’s favored causes, successfully pushing for an $80 million state grant to finance a genomics center at a private university and securing $5 million for cancer research at a Miami institute for which Mr. Braman is a major donor.
Even in an era dominated by super-wealthy donors, Mr. Braman stands out, given how integral he has been not only to Mr. Rubio’s political aspirations but also to his personal finances.
Marco Rubio has received plenty of attention - and criticism - for skipping Senate hearings and votes as he campaigns for his White House bid.
But this isn't the first job where Rubio has taken heat for failing to go all in. Documents and records obtained by NBC News suggest that as a visiting professor at Florida International University, he worked less than 10 hours a week and missed three-in-10 classes during his first semester of teaching - all while making more than most part-time visiting professors. ...
For that, he would earn $69,000 ...
Even at age twelve I could tell that Jimmy Carter was an honest man trying to address complicated issues and Ronald Reagan was a brilcreemed salesman telling people what they wanted to hear. ... I spent the eight years he was in office living in one of those science-fiction movies where everyone is taken over by aliens—I was appalled by how stupid and mean-spirited and repulsive the world was becoming while everyone else in America seemed to agree that things were finally exactly as they should be. The Washington Press corps was so enamored of his down-to-earth charm that they never checked his facts, but if you watched his face when it was at rest, when he wasn’t performing for anyone, you could see him for what he really was—a black-eyed, slit-mouthed, lizard-faced old son-of-a-bitch. He was a bad actor, an informer for McCarthy, and a hired front man for a gang of Texas oilmen, fundamentalist dingbats, and right-wing psychotics out of Dr. Strangelove. He put a genial face on chauvanism, callousness, and greed, and made people feel good about being bigots again. He likened Central American death squads to our founding fathers and called the Taliban “freedom fighters.” His legacy includes the dismantling of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the final dirty win of Management over Labor, the outsourcing of America’s manufacturing base, the embezzlement of almost all the country's wealth by 1% of its citizens, the scapegoating of the poor and black, the War on Drugs, the eviction of schizophrenics into the streets, AIDS, acid rain, Iran-Contra, and, let’s not forget, the corpses of two hundred forty United States Marines. He moved the center of political discourse in this country to somewhere in between Richard Nixon and Augusto Pinochet. He believed in astrology and Armageddon and didn't know the difference between history and movies; his stories were lies and his jokes were scripted. He was the triumph of image over truth, paving the way for even more vapid spokesmodels like George W. Bush. He was, as everyone agrees, exactly what he appeared to be—nothing. He made me ashamed to be an American.
It has become, for liberals and leftists enraged by the way Republicans never suffer the consequences for turning electoral politics into a cesspool, a kind of smoking gun. The late, legendarily brutal campaign consultant Lee Atwater explains how Republicans can win the vote of racists without sounding racist themselves:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
No one had ever entered the White House so grossly ill informed. ... “You could walk through Ronald Reagan’s deepest thoughts,” a California legislator said, “and not get your ankles wet.”
In all fields of public affairs—from diplomacy to the economy—the president stunned Washington policymakers by how little basic information he commanded. His mind, said the well-disposed Peggy Noonan, was “barren terrain.” Speaking of one far-ranging discussion on the MX missile, the Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton, an authority on national defense, reported, “Reagan’s only contribution throughout the entire hour and a half was to interrupt somewhere at midpoint to tell us he’d watched a movie the night before, and he gave us the plot from War Games.” The president “cut ribbons and made speeches. He did these things beautifully,” Congressman Jim Wright of Texas acknowledged. “But he never knew frijoles from pralines about the substantive facts of issues.” Some thought him to be not only ignorant but, in the word of a former CIA director, “stupid.” Clark Clifford called the president an “amiable dunce,” and the usually restrained columnist David Broder wrote, “The task of watering the arid desert between Reagan’s ears is a challenging one for his aides.”
No Democratic adversary would ever constitute as great a peril to the president’s political future, his advisers concluded, as Reagan did himself. Therefore, they protected him by severely restricting situations where he might blurt out a fantasy. ... His secretary of the treasury and later chief of staff said of the president: “Every moment of every public appearance was scheduled, every word scripted, every place where Reagan was expected to stand was chalked with toe marks.” Those manipulations, he added, seemed customary to Reagan, for “he had been learning his lines, composing his facial expressions, hitting his toe marks for half a century.” Each night, before turning in, he took comfort in a shooting schedule for the next day’s television-focused events that was laid out for him at his bedside, just as it had been in Hollywood.
His White House staff found it difficult, often impossible, to get him to stir himself to follow even this rudimentary routine. When he was expected to read briefing papers, he lazed on a couch watching old movies. On the day before a summit meeting with world leaders about the future of the economy, he was given a briefing book. The next morning, his chief of staff asked him why he had not even opened it. “Well, Jim,” the president explained, “The Sound of Music was on last night.”
President Barack Obama said Wednesday he wanted to assure Muslim-Americans that they were an important part of the country’s successes despite the rhetoric coming from some Republican presidential candidates.
Obama delivered his comments in Maryland after meeting with Muslim leaders at the Islamic Society of Baltimore. It marked his first visit to an American mosque as commander-in-chief.
He said that he had two words for Muslim-Americans that he said they don't get to hear often enough: "Thank you," both for keeping the country together and serving their neighbors.
He noted that this is "a time of concern" and "of some fear" for Muslim communities across the United States, attributing some of it to the "inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans that has no place in our country."
“We’re one American family and when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second class or targeted it tears at the very fabric of our nation," he said.
A Republican state representative in New Hampshire on Wednesday submitted testimony to a state House committee hearing arguing that giving public assistance to Muslims amounts to treason. ...
"Giving public benefits to any person or family that practices Islam is aiding and abetting the enemy. That is treason," [Ken] Weyler wrote in his testimony...
Did we mention B.o.B. is promoting a new album? Well he is. But he insists those things are definitely not related.
So far, B.o.B. -- nee Bobby Ray Simmons -- has posted almost 50 images of the supposedly flat planet, along with quotes from the 2014 book "The Flat Earth Conspiracy" by Eric Dubay.
(Dubay is known for his series of YouTube videos, including a two-hour production that claims to offer “200 Proofs Earth is Not a Spinning Ball.” He also denies the existence of evolution, nuclear bombs, gravity and the Holocaust.)
A man arrested for accidentally shooting a woman at a Washington state movie theater on Friday reportedly told police that he was armed because he feared mass shootings. ...
Gallion's firearm discharged during the film, striking a 40-year-old woman sitting in front of him in the shoulder. She was sent to a nearby hospital and was in stable condition as of Saturday.
The Seattle Times reported that Gallion’s explanations for how exactly the gun went off varied significantly. His father, Donald Gallion, told police that his son said the gun had fallen from his pocket and gone off. But Gallion himself told the arresting officer that another movie attendee had reached for his crotch, causing him to accidentally fire the weapon. He then told a different officer at the police station that a man had been bothering him and that the gun accidentally went off during their altercation, according to the newspaper.
"Ted thought he was an expert on everything," says this campaign veteran, who asked not to be named. ... In fact, this Bush alum recalls, "the quickest way for a meeting to end would be for Ted to come in. People would want out of that meeting. People wouldn't go to a meeting if they knew he would be there. It was his inability to be part of the team. That's exactly what he was: a big asshole." ...
[Rep. Peter King] has called Cruz a "carnival barker," a "counterfeit" with "no qualifications" who appeals "to the lowest common denominator," and "just a guy with a big mouth and no results." ...
GQ reported that Cruz started a study group during his first year in Cambridge, but he announced that "he didn't want anybody from 'minor Ivies' like Penn or Brown." In an interview with the Boston Globe, another student recalled what happened when she agreed to carpool with Cruz: "We hadn't left Manhattan before he asked my IQ." ...
"I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States," screenwriter Craig Mazin told the Daily Beast in 2013. "Anyone. I would rather pick somebody from the phone book." On Twitter, Mazin—who has called Cruz "a nightmare of a human being"—recalled that when he was a freshman sharing a dorm room with Cruz, he would get invited to parties hosted by seniors because the upperclassmen pitied him. Cruz, he notes, "was that widely loathed. It's his superpower." ...
Per the Daily Beast, "Several fellow classmates who asked that their names not be used described the young Cruz with words like 'abrasive,' 'intense,' 'strident,' 'crank,' and 'arrogant.' Four independently offered the word 'creepy.'"
United States Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination, has revealed on the campaign trail that his family is no longer covered by health insurance.
Naturally, he blames the Affordable Care Act: "I’ll tell you, you know who one of those millions of Americans is who’s lost their health care because of Obamacare? That would be me," he told an audience in Manchester, N.H., according to Politico. "I don’t have health care right now."
If you pay attention, however, you'll discover that Cruz's quandary is entirely his own fault. His, and his Republican colleagues in the Senate.
Cruz's lament is sadly typical of Congressional critics of Obamacare, including former Speaker John Boehner, who made the claim back in 2013 that his insurance rates had "spiked" because of Obamacare. It was just as bogus as Cruz's complaint, as we demonstrated here. Former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., claimed in 2014 that Obamacare had cost him his cancer doctor. Typically, his office refused to provide any details, including why the 65-year-old Coburn was using an ACA plan instead of Medicare.
That's the state of Obamacare criticism on the GOP side of the aisle. They insist they want to "repeal and replace" Obamacare. Since they can't offer any legitimate reasons to do so, they're stuck with making them up.
I was convinced when I went to India that different religions were well represented and visible, since they all dress differently. I did not realize that 80% of the population was Hindu. Nor did I have any idea how militant Indian Hindus had become. They're very right wing over there.