Thursday, May 31, 2012

Milky Way Galaxy to collide with Andromeda Galaxy

Sound collision alert!!! From Talking Points Memo:

Earth’s home, the Milky Way Galaxy, will collide with a nearby galaxy called Andromeda in 4 billion years, according to new observations made using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope announced Thursday.

“Our findings are statistically consistent with a head-on collision between the Andromeda galaxy and our Milky Way galaxy,” said Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, in a press release.

Andromeda, which is located 2.5 million light-years away, is moving rapidly towards the Milky Way at a rate of 250,000 milers-per-hour, a clip that will only increase as the galaxies approach.

The great galactic union isn’t expected to result in the destruction of Earth, the Sun, or any other planet in the solar system. In fact, no stars whatsoever are expected to collide becauase they are so far apart within each system.

But because the Milky Way is flatter than Andromeda, when the two spiral-shaped galaxies collide, they’ll form a single new elliptical-shaped galaxy that is more “three dimensional” in shape, with the merging complete 6 billion years from now.

During the course of the collision and merging, Earth’s Sun, and our entire solar system, will be flung from its current position to a new position on the outer edge of the new galaxy.

I guess we'll need to start building the "Noah's Ark" Rocket Ship;

Mitt Romney fears Obama conspiracy to sabotage his press conference

This is just insane. From Talking Points Memo:

Mitt Romney’s campaign justified its secrecy in setting up a press conference in front of Solyndra’s California headquarters Thursday by warning of a conspiracy by White House officials to potentially sabotage their efforts.

“We knew, if word got out, that Solyndra would do everything in their power, and the Obama administration would do everything in their power, to stop us from having this news conference,”an unnamed adviser told reporters, per CNN.

Reporters raised the question of how this devious plot to derail the event would work, given that the freedom to hold a press conference in public is a fairly basic right.

“Well, he’s only the president of the United States,” the adviser replied. “I mean, they could work with town officials to deny us access.”

Romney alluded to similar concerns in his press conference.

“I think there are people who don’t want to see this event occur, don’t want to have questions asked about this particular investment,” Romney told reporters when asked about the secrecy behind the event, according to the New York Times.

DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse dismissed the claim of conspiracy as a fringe notion.

“It’s actually bizarre,” he said. “I don’t want to use the term ‘weird,’ but I don't know where he would get that idea from.”

Woodhouse noted the irony that Romney supporters actually interrupted an Obama campaign press conference in Boston with chants and a bubble machine earlier the same day.

“He’s delusional,” another Democratic aide told TPM when asked about the charge.

WTF???? Mitt Romney has to hold a super-secret press conference in front of Solyndra's headquarters because the Obama campaign may intentionally sabotage the Romney campaign's efforts to hold a press conference in front of Solyndra's headquarters? This does not make any sense. If Mitt Romney wants to hold a press conference in front of Solyndra's HQ, then he can hold as many press conferences as he wishes. Why would the Obama campaign try to stop him--because of the Solyndra loan controversy? President Barack Obama can relentlessly attack Romney on his Bain Capital record, or even his record as Massachusetts governor. Why would the Obama campaign want to stop a Romney press conference? Then again, perhaps the Romney campaign is really that paranoid. This could be another attempt by the Romney campaign to connect with conservative, conspiracy-theory crazies, while at the same time projecting the Obama campaign as engaging in such secret conspiracies. This certainly is a classic, Karl Rove trick of using your candidate's weakness against your opponent. It is also ironic that Romney campaign aids disrupted an Obama press conference today in Boston. So the question I would have to ask is really, who is the more paranoid, delusional, conspiracy-minded, and willing to crash an opposing candidate's press conference? I'll give you a hint--it ain't Barack Obama.

Update: Now Mitt Romney is accusing the Obama campaign of sending staffers to disrupt Romney campaign rallies. So Mitt Romney is supposedly justified in disrupting Obama press conferences. From YouTube:

Strangely enough, I have not seen any reports of Obama campaign staffers disrupting Romney campaign rallies or press conferences though.

Appeals Court rules DOMA Act unconstitutional

This will soon go to the Supreme Court. From MSNBC News:

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that denies a host of federal benefits to same-sex married couples, is unconstitutional.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled Thursday that the act known as DoMA, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, discriminates against gay couples.

The law was passed in 1996 at a time when it appeared Hawaii would legalize gay marriage. Since then, many states have instituted their own bans on gay marriage, while eight states have approved it, led by Massachusetts in 2004, and followed by Connecticut, New York, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Washington state and the District of Columbia. Maryland and Washington’s laws are not yet in effect and may be subject to referendums.

The appeals court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns.

The 1st Circuit said its ruling wouldn’t be enforced until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the case, meaning that same-sex married couples will not be eligible to receive the economic benefits denied by DOMA until the high court rules.

I'm thinking for the Supreme Court, it becomes a question of looking at this case from a social issue, or from a benefits issue. The social issue would be that marriage is a religious pact between a man and a woman. The benefits issue are insurance, visitation, and tax benefits that federal and state governments provide for married couples. Conservatives are arguing this is a social and religious issue for heterosexual couples--no gay couples allowed! Gay couples are demanding they should have the same benefits that married couples enjoy. With the Court so evenly divided, it becomes a question of how will Justice Anthony Kennedy decide?

This also brings gay marriage in the front of the presidential elections. Whoever will be elected president this November, will probably select one or two Supreme Court slots in the next four years. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will obviously choose a hard-line conservative to the Court. President Obama will probably choose a moderate-conservative to the Court. So it becomes a question of how far right will the Court be tilted in the next four years?

Romney endorses constitutional amendment requiring presidents to have three years business experience

I saw this making the rounds on the internet, and I should make a comment on it. Apparently Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is endorsing a constitutional amendment requiring presidents to have three years of business experience. From The New York Times:

LAS VEGAS — Mitt Romney, who is trying to distance himself from Donald J. Trump’s remarks about President Obama’s citizenship, joked about a new constitutional requirement for the presidency on Tuesday evening: business experience.

In the process, Mr. Romney mentioned the requirement that all presidents be born in the United States, an unexpected reference to the simmering issue on a night when he is having a closely watched fund-raiser with Mr. Trump.

Speaking to a crowd at a furniture warehouse here, Mr. Romney recalled a suggestion from a man he had recently met on the campaign trail.

“I’d like to have a provision in the Constitution,” he recalled the man saying, “that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the president being set by the Constitution, I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States.”

Mr. Romney did not endorse the idea, but he seemed to like it.

“You see, then he or she would understand that the policies they’re putting in place have to encourage small business, make it easier for business to grow.”
As a joke, Romney's business remark falls six feet underground. U.S. News states that "good businessmen rarely make good presidents." Out of the 20 presidents since 1900, only five presidents had significant business careers before entering politics. Presidents who never had a career in business include Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Lyndon Johnson, and Bill Clinton. U.S. News did name three president with business experience--Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, and George W. Bush. Three of the worst presidents in modern history.

I'm thinking here is that Mitt Romney is throwing monkey poo on the wall, and using whatever poo will stick as part of his campaign. This constitutional amendment requiring presidents to have business experience is just another piece of poo. Unfortunately for Romney, he's not very good at throwing monkey poo. Perhaps he should look at these guys for experience:

Snake-handling Pastor dies of rattlesnake bite

All I can say here is that if you play around with rattlesnakes, you're going to get bit. From Yahoo News:
Mack Wolford, a flamboyant Pentecostal pastor from West Virginia whose serpent-handling talents were profiled last November in The Washington Post Magazine , hoped the outdoor service he had planned for Sunday at an isolated state park would be a “homecoming like the old days,” full of folks speaking in tongues, handling snakes and having a “great time.” But it was not the sort of homecoming he foresaw.

Instead, Wolford, who turned 44 the previous day, was bitten by a rattlesnake he owned for years. He died late Sunday.

Mark Randall “Mack” Wolford was known all over Appalachia as a daring man of conviction. He believed that the Bible mandates that Christians handle serpents to test their faith in God — and that, if they are bitten, they trust in God alone to heal them.

He and other adherents cited Mark 16:17-18 as the reason for their practice: “And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

I have to wonder about the religious fanatics, and why they feel it is important to their religion to handle snakes. Do they really believe that the snake is a manifestation of evil, or a part of the devil? The snake is an animal, doing what it should do when it feels threatened--the snake bites!

There is a couple interesting items in this story. The first is that Wolford's father was also a snake handler, who died in 1983 of a rattlesnake bite. Wolford was apparently trying to keep the practice alive in the West Virginia area, where it is still legal. The second is that this incident took place in an isolated part of a stake park. After Wolford was bitten, he was taken back to a relative's home in Bluefiled to recover. When his situation got worst, messages began flying through Facebook, asking for prayer. Instead of asking for prayer, why didn't Wolford go to the hospital for treatment of the rattlesnake bite? Isn't that why God created anti-venom? Finally, had state park officials known that Wolford was playing his snake-handling game, they "would have never allowed it."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Could Mitt Romney also not be an American Citizen?

With Tea Party candidates and crazies now jumping back on the birther bandwagon, both Americablog and the Daily Kos have discovered that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's father, former Michigan governor and Republican presidential candidate George Romney, was actually born in Mexico! Does this mean that Mitt Romney is not an American citizen?

Senate candidate Hoekstra wants to create a National Birther Office

I'm trying to wrap my head around Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) crazy idea of creating a "national birther office." From Talking Points Memo:
Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), who is running for Senate to take on Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, told a tea party town hall last month that the federal government should establish an official committee to review presidential candidates’ birth certificates.

The full-length video of the Q&A was posted online four weeks ago by the Lapeer County Tea Party Patriots. An excerpt, in which Hoekstra is asked about Obama’s birth certificate, has been posted online by the Michigan Democrats, injecting Hoekstra into a recent resurgence in birther theories espoused by Donald Trump, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO). A man in the audience complained to Hoekstra about President Obama’s birth certificate, “It’s on the computer, it’s everywhere, you hear people talking about it,” but nobody is doing anything about it, and he wanted Hoekstra’s thoughts on the matter.

“Sure. I mean, I think — you know, I think, throw something at me if you want, I think with this president, the book is closed, all right?” Hoekstra tells the man. “It’s kind of like, I hate to say it, but I think the debate’s over — we lost that debate, and we lost that debate in 2008, when our presidential nominee said, ‘I ain’t talking about it.’ OK, I’m sorry.

“But I do now believe that I’d like to establish a three-person office in Washington, D.C., OK — knowing it, we’ll go to five (audience laughs). But there’s no reason why we should have this kind of question, you know, for the president of the United States. So that at any future election, all right, that someone would have to walk into that office, and prove that they meet the minimum qualifications to be president of the United States.”

Hoekstra then defended his national birther office position on CNN, saying:
“Well, what happened is you’re still having this ongoing debate with some people moving this forward,” he said. “I’m not participating in that debate, I think this issue has been settled and, you know, I just want to make sure in future elections — and this is not a top priority for me, OK? This is kind of like, you know, this can take care of itself.”

As far as I can recall, we've never had the issue of a presidential candidate's citizenship, or birth record come up in a presidential campaign--at least not until an African American became a serious contender for the White House. Even after President Barack Obama's birth certificate was released, the right-wing crazies are still questioning President Obama's citizenship. And now we've got a crazy GOP senate candidate claiming it is now time to create a federal office to determine future candidates' citizenship? It is like the Tea Party crazies can not accept that a minority individual, or in their view a black, Kenyan, Muslim, can be elected into the Oval Office. They hate the fact that Obama is president, and must keep their hatred fresh with this rotten garbage. Hoekstra keeps this garbage alive to stay on the crazies' good side, and garner their votes. Donald Trump jumped on the birther bandwagon because...does Donald Trump need a reason to get more press attention to his egotistical, arrogant self? Then there is Mitt Romney. On Tuesday, the Trump hosted a fundraiser for the Republican presidential candidate in Las Vegas. Trump told CNN that "A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate," just hours before the fundraiser began. Trump's remarks place the Romney campaign squarely into this birther morass, which should have became a non-issue in the 2008 presidential campaign, but is still being kept alive by the Tea Party crazies. What was Mitt Romney's response to Trump's remarks? According to CBS News:
Romney did not address the issue directly at separate events in Colorado and Nevada, but on Monday night he told reporters aboard his campaign plane that Trump is entitled to his opinion.


"I don't agree with all the people who support me. And my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in," Romney said. "But I need to get 50.1 percent or more. And I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."

The birth question wasn't brought up at the Las Vegas fundraiser, and Romney spoke highly of Trump's efforts on his behalf.

"Mr. Trump, thank you for letting us come to this beautiful hotel and being with so many friends," Romney said. "Thank you for twisting the arms that it takes to bring a fundraiser together. I appreciate your help."

So Mitt Romney does not agree with Trump and the Tea Party crazies, but he's apparently happy for them to spout their crazy ideas regarding President Obama's citizenship status. Bravo Mittens! Again you show the country just how much of an empty suit you are, with no morals or convictions--other than what will propel you into the Oval Office, and help the 1 percenters, like Donald Trump, twist your arm after you get there.

Mitt Romney's new iPhone app--A Better Amercia

Someone on the Romney campaign forgot to use their spell checker. From
Mitt Romney's new iPhone app, With Mitt, "lets you customize photos with a variety of Mitt-inspired artistic frames." Slogans like "Believe in America," "Obama Isn't Working," and "I'm a Mom for Mitt" are just a few of the Mitt-tastic phrases that can be slapped on your iPhone photos, proudly pronouncing your support of the GOP candidate. If only he was equally as concerned with supporting our great nation. Much to the delighted displeasure of Twitter, one particular frame option betrays Romney's secret agenda working toward bettering a place known as Amercia. Yes, that's A-M-E-R-C-I-A.
A Tumblr page, Amercia is with Mitt, is ripping into this Romney campaign gaffe. Which brings me to the question of is this really how to run a presidential campaign? This is a gaffe goes beyond clumsy and enters into the realm of stupidity. I can see a programmer creating this application, and making this error. But this error should have been caught by higher level supervisors and managers, and quickly corrected before being placed on the net. This WaPo article states that the Romney campaign "submitted a corrected version of the app to Apple," telling me the campaign created the application itself. And they performed no proofreading of the final product. Stupid mistakes like this tell me that either the Romney campaign cannot find qualified people to produce these applications, or maybe the campaign just does not care and is going through the motions here.

Mitt Romney's "The Promise of America"

I saw this post through the Daily Kos, and went to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Youtube page. I watched the video with the sound off, and wanted to look at the images in this latest Romney political ad. This video is creepy: There is not one close up of an African-American, Hispanic, or any minority individual face in this video. The faces in this video are all white. Disturbing.