Is this planned chaos or just incompetence?

One passage jumped out at me from the unanimous opinion of the Ninth Circuit panel refusing to overturn the US District Judge James Robart’s temporary restraining order on Donald Trump’s Executive Order on immigration.

The Government has argued that, even if lawful permanent residents have due process rights, the States’ challenge to section 3(c) based on its application to lawful permanent residents is moot because several days after the Executive Order was issued, White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II issued “[a]uthoritative [g]uidance” stating that sections 3(c) and 3(e) of the Executive Order do not apply to lawful permanent residents. At this point, however, we cannot rely upon the Government’s contention that the Executive Order no longer applies to lawful permanent residents. The Government has offered no authority establishing that the White House counsel is empowered to issue an amended order superseding the Executive Order signed by the President and now challenged by the States, and that proposition seems unlikely.
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What the battle for the DNC chair is all about

Glenn Greenwald discusses what the battle for the chair of the Democratic National Committee between Keith Ellison and Tom Perez represents. The same failed Democratic party establishment, supported by its single largest donor Haim Saban, whose main agenda is promoting Israel’s interests, have got out their knives out for Ellison, in order to keep themselves in control.
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A quick primer on the basic forces in physics

There was an interesting question posed by Marcus Ranum about the nature of the WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) that are being looked for as the constituents of dark matter, and which are proving to be so elusive. He wondered why their presence could not be detected via gravity since it was to explain the gravitational effects of galaxies that they were postulated in the first place. I thought the question merited a quick primer for those interested in understanding it in a little more depth.
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Bannon’s prominence is already getting to Trump

It looks like more and more people are making the assertion that Donald Trump is mere clay in the hands of his advisor Steve Bannon, as shown in last week’s Saturday Night Live sketch. These are not just the late night comedians on TV but political commentators as well. There have even been social media movements with hashtags #PostcardstoBannon and #PresidentBannon surfacing on Twitter.

The hashtag #PresidentBannon gained ground last week after Bannon was appointed to the National Security Council by an executive order signed by Trump. This decision came at a time when the country was still reeling under the effects of the president’s temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries as well as the suspension of the refugee program.

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The appeal hearings on Trump’s orders

I listened yesterday to the oral arguments before a panel of the Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal on whether the stay on Trump’s Executive Orders on people entering the US that was imposed by the US District Judge in the state of Washington should be lifted. (You can listen to the oral arguments here.) It is always hard to predict outcomes based on the kinds of questions that the judges ask. The questions posed to August E. Flentje, the attorney speaking on behalf of Trump’s orders, were more sharp and skeptical and the attorney seemed less prepared. At the end he even conceded that he did not seem to be persuading the justices. He admitted that the rollout of the orders had been confusing, with legal permanent residents first being included in the ban and then excluded and suggested that an acceptable outcome might be for the judges to rule that the ban only applies to people who have never been in the US before. One justice pointed out that it should not be their job to clarify what the administration’s intentions are about who is covered and that the administration could issue new orders that were clearer.
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Dark matter continues to be elusive

A month ago, I had a post about how the search for dark matter was proving to be frustrating with one negative result after another, prompting increased speculation that an alternative theory might be necessary. The hope had been that experiments using more sensitive detectors might prove successful. But the LUX (Large Underground Xenon) experiment in a deep underground mine in South Dakota failed to find evidence of dark matter in the form of WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles), the theoretically favored dark matter candidate. The abstract of the paper published on January 11, 2017 in Physical Review Letters says:
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