Midday open thread: Over a dozen scientists run for Congress; face-palming Air Force's $1,280 cup

Two weeks remain until the last ballots are cast in the midterm elections.

Today’s comic by Jen Sorensen is Debate to nowhere

More than a dozen scientists are running for Congress, and they get climate change: Some of the record number running were spurred to do so by the anti-science agenda being pushed by Pr*sident Donald Trump and other scientific illiterates. One is Joseph Kopser, an aerospace engineer campaigning for Texas’ 21st Congressional District seat:

Kopser is quick to point out that the political attacks on science pre-date Trump. His district is a prime example: He’s running to fill the congressional seat of retiring Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, who spent the past six years using his power as chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee to cast doubt on consensus climate and environmental science.

“The problem I saw is we are so entrenched in our camps and party loyalty, no one is willing to think about other ways of doing business right now,” said Kopser, who is a Democrat like many of the scientists running for office. “Trump is just a symptom of the day and age.”

Air Force spent $326,785 in the past two years to fix metal drinking cups: The problem is that the cup handles, which can reheat the liquids in the cups aboard flights of air-refueling tankers, break when dropped. Replacing them now costs $1,280 apiece. But the Air Force “recently demonstrated the capability to 3-D print replacement handles for this item at a cost of about fifty cents each,” according to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson in a letter to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. She wrote that it “is simply irresponsible” to keep paying so much to replace the cups. No kidding. 

Sandra Day O’Connor announces she’s been diagnosed with the beginnings of dementia.

MIDDAY TWEET

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My favorite painting of an Illegal Migrant Caravan pic.twitter.com/h1EIrM8VVd

— Orli Matlow (@HireMeImFunny) October 23, 2018

Thanks to our model pr*sident: A man who groped a woman aboard a Houston-to-Albuquerque flight defended himself by saying “the president of the United States says it’s OK to grab women by their private parts.” He was arrested for abusive sexual contact after leaning over the seat in front of him to touch a woman’s breast. The woman said the first time he did it she figured it was an accident. But when he did it again after she dozed off, she knew it was no slip and “she rose from her seat, turned around and told the passenger behind her that she didn’t know why he thought it was OK and he needed to stop.” A crew member moved her to another seat and the man was taken into custody when the plane landed.

National Congress of American Indians meets for its 75th annual convention amid turmoil caused by sexual harassment: The NCAI is the oldest pan-Indian tribal organization. Its longest serving and highest ranking attorney was reassigned in August after an internal investigation into allegations of harassment and sexual pressuring of women at the organization. John Dossett, who worked for NCAI for 20 years, was booted early this month from the organization after the investigation became public. The ousting occurred after Dossett used his NCAI email account to send a lengthy statement to numerous tribal leaders and advocates in which he denied the harassment allegations that came from numerous former colleagues. The internal investigation and one by the website Indianz found that the misconduct had caused a large amount of staff turnover and lowered morale. The organization’s executive director, Jackie Pata, has been suspended from her post, which she has held since 2001, until completion of an investigation into how she handled the allegations of Dossett’s behavior.

Canadian prime minister says sales of armored personnel carriers to Saudi won’t be nixed

Canada’s prime minister has said he is unlikely to cancel the sale of armored personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia, despite growing pressure to hold Riyadh accountable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Justin Trudeau said the 2014 agreement for light armored vehicles, signed by Canada’s previous Conservative government and a Canadian unit of US weapons maker General Dynamics Corp, had been written in such a way that taxpayers would have to pay a large amount of money to end it.

This was the flag that Abrams and other students burned. With the Rebel battle flag its largest element, the flag was adopted in 1956 as a direct nose-thumbing to the Supreme Court’s school desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education and in support of white supremacy. One legislator who voted against that adoption said later: “There was only one reason for putting the flag on there: like the gun rack in the back of a pickup truck, it telegraphs a message.” The flag was dumped in 2001 and replaced in 2003 with another that resembles the first flag of the Confederacy known as the Stars and Bars.

Gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams defends her 1992 burning of the Georgia state flag: It was a perfectly righteous move that should have happened long before. The idea that burning a slaver’s flag is an example of extremism is typical of the upsidedown thinking of so many in our era:

Before she was the Democratic candidate for Georgia governor, Stacey Abrams participated in a flag-burning protest of the Georgia state flag, which featured a prominent Confederate symbol, more than 25 years ago.

A report on the 1992 protest resurfaced Monday evening in the New York Times. The newspaper cited a June 1992 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article which was accompanied by a photo showing Abrams on the steps of the Georgia Capitol with other students as they burned the Georgia state flag and the Confederate battle emblem that had been attached to it in the ’50s.[…]

”During Stacey Abrams’ college years, Georgia was at a crossroads, struggling with how to overcome racially divisive issues, including symbols of the confederacy, the sharpest of which was the inclusion of the confederate emblem in the Georgia state flag,” Abigail Collazo, a spokeswoman for Stacey Abrams, said in a statement.

Source: dailykos