I read the news today, oh boy

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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Astrogirl » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:20 am

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mor ... ?tid=sm_tw
Australia: Wife crashes her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kaharz » Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:19 pm

The most conservative US Supreme Court Justice, Scalia, died. He was a strict constructionist, which means he believes the constitution should be interpreted exactly as written. He was basically the legal equivalent of a fundamentalist, young earth creationalist. What's more, another justice, Thomas, basically just voted however Scalia did and never made any public arguments. He barely even spoke during hearings, just letting Scalia do the talking.

So now there is a big brouhaha. Obama has just shy of a year left in office and it is his prerogative to appoint a new justice. But the Republican held Senate has to confirm the appointment and they can hold that up. The longest a supreme court confirmation has been delayed is about four to five months. But there is already talk of delaying this one until they next election in case a republican candidate becomes president and they also maintain control of the Senate. It is going to be annoying.

Into someone is appointed the liberals now have a slim margin of control in the court. Before it was split pretty evenly with the chief justice, Roberts, often casting the tie breaking vote. While Roberts is considered conservative and was a Bush2 appointee, he sometimes sides with the liberal judges as long as the scope of the decision is fairly narrow.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Lethal Interjection » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:41 am

Kaharz wrote: But there is already talk of delaying this one until they next election in case a republican candidate becomes president and they also maintain control of the Senate. It is going to be annoying.


Annoying is putting it lightly. Talk of delay before presidential candidates are even chosen? Do they think an election year in America is an anarchic society without a leader?
I mean I know that anything done in the White House takes a distant 3rd in political news every 8 years* but to presume that this decision should be left for 11 months? That's just willfully ignoring the political system.

* In re-election years, it seems to be a 50/50 split, from what I've seen. Opposition selecting a leader, and the White House pushing agenda healthy for re-election.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Astrogirl » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:28 am

Australia has scienced enough, fires scientists http://ind.pn/1TapDLI
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:49 pm

Usually it's been Kennedy casting the swing vote, but yeah - Roberts was pivotal for upholding the ACA and striking down gay marriage laws. I've come to kinda like Roberts. I think he's probably quite glad of the life tenure so he can rotate back to center. He's only a few years behind widespread cultural views, as opposed to Scalia who was a good century or two behind.

As for the Senate Republicans trying to delay, they'll do there darnedest, even if Obama nominates an uncontroversial moderate. There are a number of options that the senate has already confirmed by nearly unanimous vote for positions on circuit courts. I imagine it can only backfire for them if they try to block one of those.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kimra » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:44 pm

Astrogirl wrote:Australia has scienced enough, fires scientists http://ind.pn/1TapDLI


I thought at first we were getting rid of Fire Scientists. Which I thought was ridiculous because we need them, for sure. But this is also ridiculous just not as immediately ridiculous.

Also Australia is the driest country on Earth? This seems so unlikely to me. You think someone would have mentioned this to me before now.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Edminster » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:05 pm

Kimra wrote:I thought at first we were getting rid of Fire Scientists. Which I thought was ridiculous because we need them, for sure.


Especially since it turns out Australian birds are pyromaniacs.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Astrogirl » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:34 pm

Kimra wrote:Also Australia is the driest country on Earth? This seems so unlikely to me. You think someone would have mentioned this to me before now.

Aren't you like 80% desert? Very very big deserts that get to be as far away from the ocean/rainfall as the North-South or West-East measurements of Europe or at least in the same order? African countries with desert are often only half in the desert or if the not-desert part is small they got supermuch rain or river water there and occasionally even in the desert, too, like once a year or every few years. Countries like Saudi Arabia that are mostly desert still never get as superfar away from the ocean and rainfall as large parts of Australia.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:04 pm

Yeah, you're correct Astro. Australia has one of the oldest rainforests on earth, but the dry center is so dry and large that it makes up for it.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kimra » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:58 am

Don't get me wrong, I knew it was dry. You don't go a single day without hearing about a the droughts happening wherever they want to happen that year (decade), or seeing photos of farm animals wasting away, or seeing stories about the farmers donating feed and water to the far off farmers who are doing it hard that week (year/decade). But I just didn't think it was the driest.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kaharz » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:50 am

Kimra wrote:
Astrogirl wrote:Also Australia is the driest country on Earth? This seems so unlikely to me. You think someone would have mentioned this to me before now.


Despite the massive desert in the middle, it seemed unlikely to me as well. Australia gets way more rainfall than many places and has a greater percentage of of arable land than many of those places as well. It looks like Egypt may be a prime candidate since it is usually near the bottom of average rainfall and is almost completely desert. It really only rains along the north coast. Libya is another very dry country.

I'm guessing they either just made that up, used a crappy source, or have some weird definition of driest, like nearest acess to water. By that definition Egypt wouldn't be very dry since there is a big river running down the eastern third, but Australia would be. Although Libya would be too.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:15 pm

I think all those places have extremely dry cities (also that desert in Chili), but maybe by some metric Australia comes out as overall driest. I've heard it on a number of nature documentaries.

Oh! After research, Australia came out as the driest inhabited continent, which I find a lot more believable. So if some pop article replaces "continent" with "place", it's not hard for someone else to make the jump from "place" to "country".
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Astrogirl » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:24 pm

Ah okay. That makes sense.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kimra » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:54 am

Kaharz wrote:Despite the massive desert in the middle, it seemed unlikely to me as well. Australia gets way more rainfall than many places and has a greater percentage of of arable land than many of those places as well. It looks like Egypt may be a prime candidate since it is usually near the bottom of average rainfall and is almost completely desert. It really only rains along the north coast. Libya is another very dry country.

I like this, because you said what I was too lazy to articulate well or look up further details on. Thanks for that.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kaharz » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:42 am

Liriodendron_fagotti wrote:Oh! After research, Australia came out as the driest inhabited continent, which I find a lot more believable. So if some pop article replaces "continent" with "place", it's not hard for someone else to make the jump from "place" to "country".


It appears it is the continent that isn't Antarctica with the least average rainfall, and by a good bit. The evaporative loss is almost as much as the rainfall. Thanks for not filling up the oceans Australia.
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