Scientists Baffled by McConnell and Ryan’s Ability to Stand Upright Without Spines | The New Yorker


Doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical School, who have been studying the skeletal structures of both Republicans for months, believe that their ability to stand, walk, and even break into a brisk trot when confronted by reporters’ questions is “virtually inexplicable.”

“The fact that they can do these things without the aid of spines makes McConnell and Ryan anomalies in the animal kingdom,” said Dr. Davis Logsdon. “According to everything medical science teaches us, their bodies should be collapsing to the ground in two heaps.”

Source: Scientists Baffled by McConnell and Ryan’s Ability to Stand Upright Without Spines – The New Yorker

January 29, 2017 – Most-Viewed Bills | Congress.gov

January 29, 2017

1. H.R.193 [115th] American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017
2. H.R.586 [115th] Sanctity of Human Life Act
3. H.R.621 [115th] To direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell certain Federal lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, previously identified as suitable for disposal, and for other purposes
4. H.R.7 [115th] No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017
5. H.R.2802 [114th] First Amendment Defense Act
6. H.R.392 [115th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017
7. H.R.622 [115th] To terminate the law enforcement functions of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management and to provide block grants to States for the enforcement of Federal law on Federal land under the jurisdiction of these agencies, and for other purposes
8. H.R.367 [115th] Hearing Protection Act of 2017
9. S.Con.Res.3 [115th] A concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2017 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2018 through 2026
10. H.R.5 [115th] Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017

Source: Most-Viewed Bills – Congress.gov Resources –

You might be in a medical experiment and not even know it | Aeon Ideas


Indeed, the Nuremberg Code, the founding document of modern medical research ethics developed after the Second World War in response to Nazi medical experiments, stated unequivocally that the voluntary, informed consent of the human subject is essential. Every research ethics code since then has incorporated this most fundamental principle. Exceptions to this rule are supposed to be truly exceptional.

Yet today, more and more medical experimenters in the United States appear to circumvent getting the voluntary, informed consent of those whose bodies are being used for research. What’s more, rather than fighting this retrograde trend, some of the most powerful actors in medical research are defending it as necessary to medical progress.

Source: You might be in a medical experiment and not even know it | Aeon Ideas

Immigration: Donald Trump Faces Break With Republicans | Time.com


The wave of criticism marks the end of a startlingly brief honeymoon period for a new President who has been in office for scarcely a week, and even set the White House on defense as it backtracked on the ban applying to green-card holders.

And while much of the blowback was driven by Trump’s immigration orders, the controversial plans he has on the horizon suggest the rest of his term could be just as rocky.

Source: Immigration: Donald Trump Faces Break With Republicans | Time.com

Draft White House cyber order signals pending re-org | FCW


One finding in the draft order suggests possible reorganization of some departments charged with protecting civilian and government critical infrastructure.

“The executive departments and agencies tasked with protecting civilian government and infrastructure are not currently organized to act collectively/collaboratively, tasked or resourced, or provided with legal authority adequate to succeed in their missions,” it said.

That might be good news for DHS’ stalled plan to reorganize and rename the National Protection and Programs Directorate the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency and bind cyber and physical security capabilities more closely to better reflect the links between security threats.

The plan stalled on Capitol Hill in the fall. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is expected to reintroduce the legislation to reprogram NPPD.

Source: Draft White House cyber order signals pending re-org — FCW

Harris set to jettison IT business | Washington Technology


The long rumored sale of Harris Corp.’s IT business has finally come true with the company announcing an agreement to sell the business to Veritas Capital for $690 million.

But there is one caveat to the sale – Harris is keeping its $3.5 billion FAA contract.

For 15 years, the company has provided the communications network that connects almost all of the U.S. air traffic control centers and other related facilities. The FAA extended the contract so it will last until at least 2018 when a new contract is place.

Source: Harris set to jettison IT business — Washington Technology

Fired: Trump dumps top lawyer who defied immigration order | Reuters


U.S. President Donald Trump fired top federal government lawyer Sally Yates on Monday (Jan 30) after she took the extraordinarily rare step of defying the White House and refused to defend new travel restrictions targeting seven Muslim-majority nations.

Yates said late on Monday that the Justice Department would not defend the order against court challenges, saying that she did not believe it would be “consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”

Hours later, she was fired.

Source: Fired: Trump dumps top lawyer who defied immigration order | Reuters

Related>

How Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees Devalues the American Passport


Just over a decade ago, the U.S. passport was ranked the most powerful in the world (next to Denmark and Finland) on the Visa Restrictions Index of travel freedom published by Henley & Partners, the “global citizenship and residence advisory firm” with a watchful eye on the global citizenship market.

By 2010, the U.S. passport’s ranking had declined to seventh place before finally returning to first place in 2014; as of 2016, it sits at fourth place.

Source: How Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees Devalues the American Passport

Related>

India’s Got a Reputation Problem | Bloomberg View


Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government’s growth strategy has rested on two fundamental assumptions.

First, there’s the unshakeable belief that India is so attractive a destination for capital, given the weakness in the rest of the world, all the government needs to do is tweak the investment climate and money will pour in.

Second is the idea that scaling up public spending, especially on infrastructure, will raise returns sufficiently to attract private investors — “crowding in,” as it’s known. The last three budgets — which, in India, are the year’s major statement of economic policy, not just simple accounting exercises — have operated on this principle.

Surely, Jaitley has noticed that this approach hasn’t worked.

Source: India’s Got a Reputation Problem – Bloomberg View

Related>

Trump puts Bannon on security council, dropping joint chiefs | BBC News


President Donald Trump is reshuffling the US National Security Council (NSC), downgrading the military chiefs of staff and giving a regular seat to his chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Mr Bannon, formerly the head of the populist right-wing, Breitbart News website, will join high-level discussions about national security.

Source: Trump puts Bannon on security council, dropping joint chiefs – BBC News