|August 19, 2012||Laser Tag (Martian Style).||3 comments|
|August 19, 2012||More Tea Party Intelligentsia (Or Foot-In-Mouth Disease).||3 comments|
|August 19, 2012||Daily Presidential Tracking Poll||2 comments|
|August 19, 2012||Lunchtime!||1 comments|
|August 19, 2012||Mitt Happens (Pun Intended).||4 comments|
|August 19, 2012||Ode To Mitt Romney.||1 comments|
|August 19, 2012||Republican Wonks.||1 comments|
|August 18, 2012||Dallas Cowboys Lose.||1 comments|
|August 18, 2012||It's Still Caturday!||1 comments|
|August 18, 2012||Lost And Found, Maybe...||1 comments|
A small, flat rock known as Coronation suffered the wrath of Curiosity’s laser when the Mars rover finally fired up its ChemCam instrument and delivered 30 pulses of energy at the rock over a 10-second period.
The laser pulses, each delivering more than 1 million watts of power for around 5 one-billionths of a second, turn some of the rock’s atoms into a glowing, ionized plasma. By analyzing the light from the plasma, the ChemCam’s three spectrometers can determine what elements are in the rock.
“We got a great spectrum of Coronation — lots of signal,” Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory, leader of the ChemCam scientific team, said in a press release today. “Our team is both thrilled and working hard, looking at the results. After eight years building the instrument, it’s payoff time!”
The rock formerly known as N165 was selected as a good target for Curiosity to test its laser on. Scientists are using the data to learn how ChemCam is working, but they were impressed with the quality of the data, which are even better than the data acquired during testing on Earth, and they may learn something about the rock as well.
“It’s surprising that the data are even better than we ever had during tests on Earth, in signal-to-noise ratio,” ChemCam scientist Sylvestre Maurice of the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP) in Toulouse, France, said in the press release. “It’s so rich, we can expect great science from investigating what might be thousands of targets with ChemCam in the next two years.”
From Wired Science By Betsy Mason
Rep. Todd Akin, the newly-christened GOP (Tea Party) Senate nominee in Missouri, said in an interview airing Sunday that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy.
Explaining his no-exceptions policy on abortions, Akin was asked why he opposes abortion even when the pregnancy is the result of rape.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in a clip posted to YouTube by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin added: “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Akin’s statement threatens to recast a Senate race in which he starts as the favorite, but national Republicans are concerned about his ability to execute a winning strategy. Akin won the GOP nomination two weeks ago — a result that Democrats hailed as a potential game-changer in a tough race for them.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and national Democrats actually spent money in the GOP primary to help get Akin through it. That strategy, at least in this case, appears to be paying dividends.
McCaskill said she was outraged by Akin’s claim.
“As a woman & former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases,I’m stunned by Rep Akin’s comments about victims this AM,” she tweeted. Within an hour, her tweet had been re-tweeted more than 1,000 times.
Akin’s claim is one that pops up occasionally in social conservative circles. A federal judge nominated by President Bush in the early 2000s had said similar things, as have state lawmakers in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Politicians and activists who espouse this view often suggest that women who haven’t been raped will claim to have been raped in order to obtain an abortion. An Idaho state lawmaker apologized earlier this year after urging doctors to make sure women who claimed they had been raped were sure of that fact.
Needless to say, this is territory that GOP leaders would rather not have Akin wander into. Getting into the particulars of “legitimate rape” (as opposed to what?) and the female reproductive system has the potential to make this a headache for the GOP and take the focus off of McCaskill and President Obama, who is unpopular in Missouri.
According to a 1996 study, approximately 32,000 pregnancies result from rape annually in the United States, and about 5 percent of rape victims are impregnated.
Akin is also staking out some of the most socially conservative territory possible on this issue. Missouri is pretty socially conservative, but even many Republicans believe in abortion exceptions for rape and incest. A recent Gallup poll showed just 20 percent of Americans believe in no exceptions for abortion.
From The Washington Post Posted by Aaron Blake
Excerpt from Rasmussen Reports -
Sunday, August 19, 2012
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows President Obama attracting support from 45% of voters nationwide, while Mitt Romney earns the vote from 43%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.
This is the lowest level of support for Romney since March.
Candidates for the presidency should be thoroughly vetted. That is why voters deserve full disclosure of how Mitt Romney’s wealth was accumulated and invested, his offshore investments and the nature of his financial relationship with Bain Capital since his retirement. This information goes to the core of Romney’s character and values.
The Republican presidential candidate and former governor released 20 years of tax returns when he was vetted for the vice presidency in 2008 before John McCain picked Sarah Palin. In his 2012 bid for the presidency, Romney has made public his 2010 tax return and expects to release his yet-to-be-completed 2011 return.
But Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns for the most important years of building his wealth at Bain Capital raises a legitimate concern: Did he build his wealth through aggressive tax strategy that is questionable at best?
Romney’s financial affairs lack transparency by design. President Obama fought for tax reforms eliminating special loopholes for the wealthiest, to pay down the deficit and protect the middle class, yet Romney is comfortable exploiting those loopholes, while on the stump he is promoting tax cuts.
• On his recent trip abroad, Romney skipped Italy, for good reasons. Bain Capital, with Romney as CEO, made about $1 billion in a leveraged (minimal cash outlay – low-risk) buyout of an Italian company. Bloomberg News reported that Bain funneled its profits through subsidiaries in Luxembourg, a common corporate way to avoid taxes in other European countries. The buyer, Italy’s biggest telephone company, now is valued way below what it paid Bain and other investors for the business. The shock waves of this transaction are still felt in Italy.
• In Romney’s self-directed individual retirement account, he used heavy leveraging and a "blocking company," thereby avoiding the "unrelated business income tax" normally imposed on such gains in IRAs. His IRA’s growth to $100 million is astounding in light of contribution limits of $30,000 annually. On its face, the IRA was likely funded in part with stock shares valued well below market.
• Presidential candidates generally avoid betting the U.S. dollar will lose value by speculating in Swiss francs. Yet such speculation was the stated purpose of Romney’s "blind" trust Swiss bank account, which was closed in early 2010. Was the income reported on earlier tax returns? Did Romney timely file disclosure forms to the Treasury Department?
• Romney’s large accounts held in "family trusts" raise the question whether gift taxes were paid and required disclosures were made.
• Romney’s apparent disdain for tax obligations is clear from his role in Marriott International’s abusive tax shelter activities. From 1993 to 1998, Romney was head of the audit committee of the Marriott board of directors, with responsibilities that included tax planning. The so-called "Son of Boss" tax shelter helped Marriott sell $81 million of mortgage notes, reporting a $71 million "tax loss." Romney was an insider with perspective on the motivation and lack of substance in the transaction, fully understanding the tax avoidance game. Romney reportedly was the board member most familiar with the transaction.
This shelter, used by Marriott and others, represented one of the largest tax-avoidance schemes in history, costing the U.S. billions in lost tax revenues. In 2008, the U.S. Federal Court of Claims ruled against Marriott, which appealed and lost again. The appeals court sided with the Department of Justice, calling Marriott’s transactions "fictitious," "artificial," "spectral," an "illusion" and a "scheme."
Voters should know if Romney has done any more than take advantage of legitimate tax breaks not available to common folks.
By Maria Magers Roberts retired from the U.S. Treasury Regional Counsel’s Office of Appeals after 30 years. She worked on settlement of disputed tax cases, both corporate and individual.
A 92 year old World War II veteran and former judge, Ralph Maxwell, has written a poem about Mitt Romney which is now going viral. Postings on the DailyKos, Twitter and Facebook are everywhere showing both the written words of his poem, as well as a reading of the poem by Mr. Maxwell, on Youtube.
The poem which was posted on YouTube two days ago, covers the changing views, or flips flops by Mitt Romney from his time as Governor of Massachusetts to where he says he stands today.
Wherefore art thou, Mitt Romney
O, Romney-O, Romney-O, Wherefore art thou, Mitt Romney?
You flip-flop here, you flip-flop there,
You flip-flop almost ev'rywhere.
You ballyhoo what you're gonna do
And then you pull a switcheroo;
You now malign what you found fine;
Seems like you've got a jellyfish spine.
Obamacare, by you begun,
Now you'd trash it on day one.
Gun control you did extol,
But now you're preaching decontrol.
O, Romney-O, Romney-O, Wherefore art thou, Mitt Romney?
We've got no clue what you will do
Or what new view you'll pander to.
Time was you championed women's choice,
But you no longer heed their voice;
On gay rights, too, guess you withdrew
Support they once enjoyed from you.
Global warming, EPA,
Immigration, minimum pay,
Roe V. Wade, also fair trade,
All joined your flip-flop cavalcade.
O, Romney-O, Romney-O Wherefore art thou, Mitt Romney?
So many things that you were for
You've turned against and slammed the door.
Stimulus and cap and trade,
Education, foreign aid,
Campaign reform, tarp rescues, too,
All victims of your switcheroo.
You take your stand on shifting sand,
We never know where you will land;
You vacillate, you fabricate,
A wishy-washy candidate.
O, Romney-O, Romney-O, Wherefore art thou Mitt Romney?
As gov'nor you let taxes rise,
Now ev'ry tax you demonize.
You say regardless of the facts
You'd take an axe to the millionaire's tax;
You'd feed the greed of the richest few
The poor and middle class you'd screw.
Your tax returns you hide from view
What evil lurks there we've no clue;
If they're not bad why hesitate?
Is it that they incriminate?
O, Romney-O, Romney-O, Wherefore art thou Mitt Romney?
At Bain you plundered with a flair
And walked away a zillionaire.
You shipped off-shore, good jobs galore
To China, India, Singapore;
A job creator you are not.
And to boast you are is tommyrot.
As a total fraud, Mitt's got no peer;
What we must do is crystal clear:
Let's give Obama f o u r more years!
Yes, it's Obama – f o u r more years!
F O U R MORE YEARS!
F O U R MORE YEARS!
F O U R MORE YEARS!
Wonk – Definition Of A Wonk – Wonk is apparently the word of the day. Wonk which is a noun can defined as a person mainly a politician who is deep into a subject or an issue. For example the term policy wonk is used to explain people who study a specific subject or issue in a thorough and excessive manner. The word wonk like many other words found in the dictionary has multiple meanings. Wonk can also be defined as homosexual. Wonk also means white person in Australia. Additionally wonk is used to describe people who are boring or individuals with no social lives.
Wonk is another way to say ugly or unattractive. As you can see Wonk has many definitions so be cautious when applying it- it could be a compliment or an insult.
Note: In Britain it is pronounced wank, as in wanker...LOL!
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery has announced that an underwater video may have captured plane debris from Amelia Earhart’s ill-fated flight over the Pacific ocean.
“A review of high-definition underwater video footage taken during the recently-completed Niku VII expedition has revealed a scattering of man-made objects on the reef slope off the west end of Nikumaroro,” an announcement on the TIGHAR website reads.
“The newly discovered debris field is in deep water offshore the location where an object thought to be Lockheed Electra landing gear appears in a photo taken three months after Amelia Earhart disappeared.”
TIGHAR believes that the contents of the debris field appear to be consistent with the landing gear in the 1937 photo.
“It’s still very early days, but we have man-made objects in a debris field in the place where we’d expect to find it if our theory on the airplane is correct,” said TIGHAR Director Ric Gillespie, according to a Reuters report. ”We were rushing to get at least some video reviewed so we could show something.”
Reuters says that video footage was take in July by TIGHAR while the team conducted a multi-million dollar expedition to Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati. Although the expedition suffered numerous technical issues, the team of aviation enthusiasts was able to gather many hours of video footage which they finally viewed after leaving Nikumaroro.
“We don’t want to oversell this. It’s more evidence. It is where it should be, and that is encouraging,” Mr. Gillespie said. “If it does appear to be airplane wreckage, it becomes figuring out how to go back and look at it.”
According to the U.S. Navy, Ms. Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, took of from Lae for Howland Island on July 2, 1937. Although Ms. Earhart and Mr. Noonan had planned to land on the small island, their last positive position report and sighting took place over the Nukumanu Islands, less than halfway into the journey.
The U.S. Navy says that the seasoned aviator was ill-equipped to communicate effectively with the U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Itasca, which was stationed near Howland to help guide Ms. Earhart to the island once she arrived in the region. Although the Navy and Coast Guard organized a coordinated search for Ms. Earhart and navigator, no physical evidence was ever found.
Discovery News says that the Discovery Channel will reveal the TIGHAR’s captivating video evidence in a documentary titled “Finding Amelia Earhart: Mystery Solved?” on Sunday, August 19 at 10 p.m. EDT.