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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The case for censuring Trump and excoriating Barr

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 07:30

Neal Katyal and Joshua Geitzer/WaPo on AG William Barr:

Barr tried to exonerate Trump. That’s not how the special counsel rules work.
The attorney general isn’t supposed to be rebutting the special counsel.

The point here is not to say that Trump obstructed justice or that he should be impeached. Our concern is with law and process: Corrupt intent is a complex question, especially when evaluating the behavior of the president. But Barr has put too much emphasis on whether there was an underlying Russia-related crime. That might be defensible if he were Trump’s personal attorney, making the best case he could for his client. That’s not Barr’s role, though. He’s the attorney general of the American people, and he’s been handed a report by a crack prosecutorial team that lays out 10 instances in which Trump possibly obstructed justice. Barr shouldn’t be offering a rebuttal. He should be offering the report to Congress — and then leaving it to lawmakers to determine what comes next.


Categories: Politics

Bowers & Wilkins unveils ultra-premium ‘Formation’ home speaker line with AirPlay 2

9to5Mac - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 07:06

Last week, Bowers & Wilkins invited us downtown in New York to show off their latest audio line, Formation. The lineup is predicated on five launch products, all sharing the same Formation namesake at the beginning: Bar, Duo, Wedge, Bass and Audio.

Featuring support for AirPlay 2, the company is touting the innovations presented in the Formation line as top-tier wired audio fidelity achieved wirelessly, all with the same setup simplicity of a $249 everyday-consumer level speaker.


The post Bowers & Wilkins unveils ultra-premium ‘Formation’ home speaker line with AirPlay 2 appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

New life at St. Ambrose

Medina Gazette - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 07:04
BRUNSWICK — St. Ambrose Catholic Parish parishioners received a message of hope and faith in Jesus during Easter Mass in the newly renovated church.
Categories: News

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 07:00

Happy Easter Monday, Canadians! And Happy Earth Day, Earthlings!

And Happy Dyngus Day, Buffalo, NY! And Happy Dingus Day, Donald Trump! But then, every day is Dingus Day for you, isn’t it?

It’s been an unbelievable 100 years since the (latest Barr-version of the) Mueller Report came out, and we’re still not done parsing it. Luckily, Trump insists he’s enjoying things, and living his best days as president,* so there’s no need to stop thumbing through it on his account.

So we may just keep going with that this week.

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET!

PODCAST LISTENERS: There’s a new podcast platform in town, and the big news is: this one pays! RadioPublic pays podcast producers at $20 CPM for listens on their native app (available for iPhones & Androids), financed by pre- and post-roll ads they insert. Not a bad way to support the show, with somebody else’s money!

So if you’re a podcast listener, please consider downloading the RadioPublic app on your Android or iOS phone. Yes, you can still download directly from their site, or listen to the player embedded here at Daily Kos. But it’s listens in their app that count toward payment. And get this: listen to just three episodes in their app, and we earn a one-time, $1 “loyal listener” bonus.

Nothing changes on our end. It’s still Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando. Plus also, me. And you! As always, we still want your voice on the air with us. Sit down with your smart phone or other electronic recording device and send us your stories and commentary to share with the audience. There’s no easier way to try your hand at podcasting, without all the hassle!

Of course there’s no substitute for having your support via Patreon, or one-time contributions via Square Cash. (And hey, if you want a cool trick for donating sorta-kinda cost free, get their cash.me app and use this share code to get $5 in your account (plus $5 in mine) when you send your first $5 (to anyone)!

For now, how about one on the house? Here’s what we did on our last show:

x Embedded Content

RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!)

Friday, finally! Some of us could use a little break from all of this before they snap. Not David Waldman, and not any of you reading this, who are now about to hit play on today's KITM. We need a couple of hours to prepare for the dozens of hours we plan on devoting our attention to Mueller report analysis this weekend! Armando returns to remind us that the administration of justice is a constitutional responsibility that is shared by all three branches. Unlike William Barr, Robert Mueller agrees that Congress has this responsibility as well. For a moment there, a few Democratic leaders spaced on that. Lately, some are beginning to smarten up, others… no. Speaking of smarts, Donald Trump kept trying to break the law, but was continually stymied by his smarter, law abiding staff. Certainly, plenty of his staff were neither, as shown by the Special Counsel's 14 referrals of potential criminal activity to outside offices. Only two referrals are publicly known at this point, but the report does describe Mike Flynn contacting foreign intelligence services for Hillary Clinton dirt, and Steve Bannon and Erik Prince exchanging dozens of text messages (since acid-washed from their phones, natch). Prepare to return to the Seychelles in the coming months. There’s plenty more dumbness and dishonesty to discover. For instance, Sarah Sanders helped out where she could. Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr fed the White House Senate intelligence. Rod Rosenstein wouldn’t stick his neck out for Trump, although he’s still happy to stand behind those who do. By the way, that mountain man lawyer on Rod’s right represents a whole different (maybe) can of worms. By the way, how dumb and dishonest can you be to not collude with the Russians only because you couldn’t ask for anything in return… because you know your entire life is filled with blackmailable offenses?

Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more!) Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
Categories: Politics

JCPenny drops Apple Pay support from retail stores and app

9to5Mac - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 06:59

Department store giant JCPenny has dropped support for Apple Pay from both its retail stores, and its app.

The company’s Twitter support account confirmed the change over the weekend …


The post JCPenny drops Apple Pay support from retail stores and app appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1555928167

WormBase Manet - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 06:35
Categories: Bio

Scientists Create 'Living' Machines That Eat, Grow, and Evolve

Slashdot - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 06:34
elainerd (Slashdot reader #94,528) shares an article from The Next Web: Scientists from Cornell University have successfully constructed DNA-based machines with incredibly life-like capabilities. These human-engineered organic machines are capable of locomotion, consuming resources for energy, growing and decaying, and evolving. Eventually they die. That sure sounds a lot like life, but Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell, who worked on the research, says otherwise. He told The Stanford Chronicle, "We are introducing a brand-new, lifelike material concept powered by its very own artificial metabolism. We are not making something that's alive, but we are creating materials that are much more lifelike than have ever been seen before." Just how lifelike? According to the research they're on par with biologically complex organisms such as mold.... "Dynamic biomaterials powered by artificial metabolism could provide a previously unexplored route to realize 'artificial' biological systems with regenerating and self-sustaining characteristics." Basically, the Cornell team grew their own robots using a DNA-based bio-material, observed them metabolizing resources for energy, watched as they decayed and grew, and then programmed them to race against each other... Lead author on the team's paper, Shogo Hamada, told The Stanford Chronicle that "ultimately, the system may lead to lifelike self-reproducing machines."

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Categories: Geek

On the Road and In Your Backyard

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 05:00

Good Morning All,

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!


Today, pictures from valued commenter Albatrossity.

I decided I’d had enough winter here, so I headed southwest for a couple of weeks to get that good desert heat soaking into my winter-weary bones. After Texas and Bosque del Apache in NM, I headed to the Sky Islands of southeastern AZ. First island stop was the Chiricahua Mountains, and specifically the Cave Creek Canyon on the eastern side. The Chiricahuas are at the edge of four ecozones, so there is plenty of floral and faunal diversity. And it was Spring there!

I stayed at the Cave Creek Ranch near Portal AZ for a couple of days, and took these pictures (as well as lots more!) on their grounds. It’s a lovely place, if ever you find yourself in that part of the world and wish to dip your tootsies in a mountain stream while watching gorgeous birds.

I should also mention that I have started a daily tweet, posting a bird picture from somewhere each morning. The Bird of the Day can be viewed at my twitter home – https://twitter.com/DaveRintoul01

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

Rivoli’s Hummingbird (until recently known as the Magnificent Hummingbird) is a large and flashy critter. This male was looking directly at me when I shot his portrait using a small on-camera flash. I’ve never seen red eye-shine from a hummer before, but it is an interesting look! I’ve renamed the bird as the Dire Hummer from now on!

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

The western subspecies of the Yellow-rumped Warbler is known as Audubon’s Warbler, and this is a nice spring-plumaged male representative of that subspecies. The yellow throat distinguishes it from the eastern form (Myrtle Warbler), which has a pure white throat.

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

The common thrasher of the west is the Curve-billed Thrasher. That bright yellow eye is riveting! Interestingly, by the time I returned home from this jaunt, our summer-resident Brown Thrashers had returned and were singing lustily from the treetops in our neighborhood.

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

One of the specialty birds that folks want to see in southeastern AZ is this Painted Redstart. Active and vocal and usually found catching insects at stream sides, they are pure crimson and black and white, with a cute half of a white eyering. This one is perched in an Apache Pine, another interesting bit of the local biological diversity.

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

The Arizona Woodpecker (formerly called Strickland’s Woodpecker) barely finds its way into the lower 48, so it is another specialty species for birders heading to southeastern AZ. Most of its range is in the Sierra Madre mountains of nprthern Mexico, where it inhabits oak/pine canyons. A similar species (also formerly known as Strickland’s Woodpecker) is found in central Mexico and is still known by that name.


Thank you so much Albatrossity, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

Categories: Politics

Monday Morning Open Thread: Good Dog, Bad ‘Dogs’…

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 04:48

Vitisak Payalaw and his crew were working on an oil rig 135 miles off the southern coast of Thailand on Friday when they spotted something unexpectedly bobbing in the gentle waves.

It was a dog.

The animal was fighting his way through the moving water, heading for the oil rig. As he approached the structure, Payalaw, an offshore planner for Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, held out a pole after the animal had splashed his way to the platform below the rig’s deck. As a video Payalaw posted to his Facebook account shows, the pup was soaked, shivering and too exhausted to whimper or bark…

Four members of the crew, including Payalaw, spent 15 minutes devising a way to pull the animal up to the rig, eventually slinging a looped rope around the dog’s neck and hoisting it to the deck. The pictures from the offshore planner’s Facebook account show the animal looking sapped after being taken aboard the rig.

According to NPR, the rig workers gave the dog water and pieces of meat. Then, they settled on a name: “Boonrod,” meaning “he has done good karma and that helps him to survive.”

“He looked extremely exhausted and ran out of energy. He didn’t move much,” Payalaw said to CNN. “He was shaking and he couldn’t stand, he had to sit all the time.”

How exactly a dog ended up paddling for his life in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand remains a mystery. According to the Bangkok Post, Boonrod may have jumped or fallen off another vessel in the water…

Payalaw told NPR he plans to adopt Boonrod if the dog is not claimed by an owner.

On the other hand… yeah, I also have the impression that these guys would be less like cybernetic St Bernards, and more like Repo Dogs…

Categories: Politics

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1555920966

WormBase Manet - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 04:35
Categories: Bio

Kansas Towns 'Rebel' Against Zuckerberg-Funded School Programs

Slashdot - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 03:34
"I want to just take my Chromebook back and tell them I'm not doing it anymore," said Kallee Forslund, 16, a 10th grader in Wellington. The New York Times reports on a "rebellion" that started in Kansas against an online "personalized learning" program funded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, and developed by Facebook engineers -- including a classroom walk-out, a sit-in, and parent protests at public school board meetings. Read the Times' pay-walled original article or this free alternate version. Some highlights: Eight months earlier, public schools near Wichita had rolled out a web-based platform and curriculum from Summit Learning... Many families in the Kansas towns, which have grappled with underfunded public schools and deteriorating test scores, initially embraced the change. Under Summit's program, students spend much of the day on their laptops and go online for lesson plans and quizzes, which they complete at their own pace. Teachers assist students with the work, hold mentoring sessions and lead special projects. The system is free to schools. The laptops are typically bought separately. Then, students started coming home with headaches and hand cramps. Some said they felt more anxious. One child began having a recurrence of seizures. Another asked to bring her dad's hunting earmuffs to class to block out classmates because work was now done largely alone. "We're allowing the computers to teach and the kids all looked like zombies," said Tyson Koenig, a factory supervisor in McPherson, who visited his son's fourth-grade class. In October, he pulled the 10-year-old out of the school. In a school district survey of McPherson middle school parents released this month, 77 percent of respondents said they preferred their child not be in a classroom that uses Summit. More than 80 percent said their children had expressed concerns about the platform... The resistance in Kansas is part of mounting nationwide opposition to Summit, which began trials of its system in public schools four years ago and is now in around 380 schools and used by 74,000 students. In Brooklyn, high school students walked out in November after their school started using Summit's platform. In Indiana, Pa., after a survey by Indiana University of Pennsylvania found 70 percent of students wanted Summit dropped or made optional, the school board scaled it back and then voted this month to terminate it. And in Cheshire, Conn., the program was cut after protests in 2017... By [this] winter, many McPherson and Wellington students were fed up. While Summit's program asks schools to commit to having students meet weekly in person with teachers for at least 10 minutes, some children said the sessions lasted around two minutes or did not happen. The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy says the program also "demands an extraordinary amount of personal information about each student and plans to track them through college and beyond." But the real concern is whether the programs are effective. The Times also spoke to a senior scientist at the RAND corporation who's studied digital customized learning programs, who acknowledges "There has not been enough research." And a Wellington city councilman told them that 12 parents actually pulled their children out of the school system after this year's first semester -- and nearly 40 more plan to do so by summer vacation. One church secretary (with two school-age children) even coined a pithy slogan for her yard sign: "Don't Plummet With Summit."

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Categories: Geek

How to change your Instagram password on iPhone

9to5Mac - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 03:00

Need to quickly change your Instagram password on iPhone? Read on below for how to do it in a few easy steps.


The post How to change your Instagram password on iPhone appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1555913766

WormBase Manet - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 02:35
Categories: Bio

New life at St. Ambrose

Medina Gazette - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 00:49
BRUNSWICK — St. Ambrose Catholic Parish parishioners received a message of hope and faith in Jesus during Easter Mass in the newly renovated church.
Categories: News

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1555906566

WormBase Manet - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 00:35
Categories: Bio

The Incredibly Stupid Plot To Hijack a Domain By Breaking Into Its Owner's House With A Gun

Slashdot - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 23:39
CNN tells the story of 24-year-old "social media influencer" Rossi Lorathio Adams II who'd wanted his domain to be the slogan of his social media sites (which at one point had over a million followers on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter). Unfortunately, that domain was already owned by another man in Iowa -- but Adams came up with a solution: In June 2017, Adams enlisted his cousin to break into the domain owner's home and force him to transfer it. The cousin drove to the domain owner's house and provided a demand note [which contained "a series of directions on how to change an Internet domain name from the domain owner's GoDaddy account to one of Adams' GoDaddy accounts."] After entering the home, the intruder grabbed the victim's arm and ordered him to connect his computer to the internet. He put the firearm against the victim's head and ordered him to follow the instructions. "Fearing for his life, the victim quickly turned to move the gun away from his head. The victim then managed to gain control of the gun," court records show. The victim shot the intruder multiple times and called the police. The intruder, Adams' cousin Sherman Hopkins Jr., was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year. Now it's Adams' turn. He will remain in custody pending sentencing. He faces a maximum 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

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Categories: Geek

Groom Welds A GoT Iron Throne For His Bride

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 23:30

A cool Game of Thrones Story for a Sunday Night...

Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics

Late Night Music Club With Handel's Messiah (Virtual Choir!)

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 23:01

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir invited people from around the world to join in a singing of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah.

Mark D. Roberts in Patheos calls Handel's work "An Unexpected Easter Masterpiece":

Handel did not write the Messiah as a piece of Christmas music. We know this for a couple of reasons. First, if you pay close attention to the words of the Messiah in the libretto (the text of the music) written by Charles Jennens, you’ll discover that only the first part of the composition has to do with the birth of Jesus. The second and third parts focus on his death, resurrection, the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost, and the final resurrection of all believers. Second, the first performance of the Messiah occurred, not during Advent or Christmas, but in Eastertide. Handel’s masterpiece was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742, 19 days after Easter. This was surely no accident. If Handel had envisioned the Messiah as a piece for Christmas, it would have been introduced in this season.

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Categories: Politics

WormBase Manet is DOWN, 1555899366

WormBase Manet - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 22:35
Categories: Bio

Sunday night owls. Denison: 'The Abominations of Congress'

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 22:30

Dave Denison at The Baffler writes—The Abominations of Congress. An excerpt:

MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS AGO Charles Lewis noted in The Buying of the Congress that for most Americans the national legislature is “a distant abomination.” You can put the emphasis on “distant”—fewer than half the citizenry can name their representative and even fewer can name both their senators. Or you can emphasize the “abomination,” since most people are aware that Congress is perennially in the grip of the high-paid influencers who haunt its marbled lobbies and fund congressional campaigns. It’s part of our national folklore to believe, as Mark Twain put it, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

In a simpler age it was customary to find humor in the fact that some of the most, um, ordinary intellects stumbled into the august chambers of the United States Congress. Today’s longest-serving House member, Alaska Republican Don Young, is known for sometimes brandishing a penis bone of a walrus—and for once pulling a knife on former Speaker John Boehner. Louisiana Democrat Rep. William Jefferson was indicted in 2007 for taking about a half million dollars in bribes. The FBI found $90,000 in his freezer.


When I was a grade school student, I became aware that there was a man who represented mein Congress, sent to Washington, D.C., from our Second Congressional District in Indiana. His name was Earl Landgrebe, and he was a Republican, as were most people in the district of small towns in Northwest Indiana’s Lake and Porter counties. Yet in the summer of 1974, when I was riveted to the televised Watergate hearings and was becoming aware that the president was corrupt, and that some Republicans were beginning to acknowledge as much, I also learned that my own representative was unable to speak intelligently about the national crisis.

The House had voted earlier that year 410–4 to authorize the Judiciary Committee to start impeachment hearings. Rep. Landgrebe was among the four dissenting voters. He was loyal to Nixon all the way to the end: the day before Nixon resigned Landgrebe made himself famous by telling a reporter, “Don’t confuse me with the facts. I’ve got a closed mind. I will not vote for impeachment. I’m going to stick with my president even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot.” That was the year the magazine New Times named Landgrebe to their “Ten Dumbest Congressmen” list.

To be young in America, in every generation, is to become at least vaguely aware that an incompetent and malignant Congress is not entirely funny. These people can get you killed. It was a clear and present danger when neither party was able to put a stop to the Vietnam War, and again when Congress authorized George W. Bush & Co. in 2002 to launch an invasion of Iraq. And it’s true today, as any high school student knows who walks through metal detectors and endures “active shooter” drills at school: Congress, despite its constant protestations, has a long record of negligence when it comes to meaningful national security—especially for young and marginalized people.

Yet it’s a feature of #resistance politics today to focus almost entirely on the abuses of presidential power. We’re stuck in a president-centric political system—and the unlimited goonery of the current president makes it almost impossible to gain perspective on the depth of our democratic dysfunctions. But a corrupt president can be voted out after four years. Congress can be impervious to reform for generations at a time. [...]

Organize-Fish-eating-fish_NoTEXT_BlueRed.jpg Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups





On this date at Daily Kos in 2006—More Flu Stories:

It's interesting that ANY discussion of bird flu engenders a reflex "fear/hype" response amongst some posters, (and the usual media culprits) as if the very existence of the discussion (and the provision of neutral information) is an affront to propriety. For example,  here's a simulation from the Los Alamos National Laboratory on Avian Flu infection dynamics should 10 people be found positive in a major America City like Los Angeles. The low probability, high impact nature of the Quicktime movie simulation speaks for itself. But as the Science editorial goes on to say:

An energetic response to H5N1 does not have to be alarmist. [emphasis mine] We can marshal existing concern about this particular strain of avian influenza to build a long-lasting international infrastructure to monitor and thwart threats from such emerging infections.

And Americans are concerned. They're a little concerned about bird flu (or the pandemic flu version) and very concerned about the government's ability to deal. 

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”

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Categories: Politics