Orbital Matters

Saturn Smith
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 7, 2010 7:42PM

Man Arrested for Threat Against Nancy Pelosi

The AP is reporting that the FBI has arrested a Northern California man for making threatening phone calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

Several federal officials said the man made dozens of calls to Pelosi's homes in California and Washington, as well as to her husband's business office. They said… Read full post »

Flickr: Wallyg/150113764

I don’t really know much about mines, or mining disasters, just what I’ve read. This newest one in West Virginia seems both like a familiar tragedy and like something that could’ve and should’ve been prevented by the many, many accidents that have come before. Just in… Read full post »

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled today [PDF] that the Federal Communications Commission doesn't have the authority to enforce "net neutrality," which requires companies to treat all traffic over their networks equally.

The case was… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 5, 2010 2:30PM

U.S. Forces Admit to Killing Three Women, Two Men at Party

Wow. On February 11, a U.S.-led NATO force visited a house near the village of Khatabeh in Paktiya Province to investigate possible Taliban or militant activity. The next day, NATO's International Security Assistance Force Public Affairs Office released a statement saying that the force had "found th… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 4, 2010 6:49PM

Saturday Night Food Adventure: Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict

This isn't political, I know, but it's taken up more of my weekend than the New York Times, so far. Last night, while my boyfriend was at church, I decided to make the ultimate sinful dessert: Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict. The recipe came from Serious Eats and was a joke between… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 2, 2010 2:03PM

Have We Turned a Corner on Unemployment?

Szczur / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
This pony, like the U.S. economy, has a long difficult journey ahead.

Everyone is celebrating the announcement that the U.S. apparently added 161,000* jobs in March. Woohoo! The recession is over, and soon we'll all get a pony! A pony with a job!/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 1, 2010 1:22PM

President Karzai Mad As Hell, Still Going to Take It

Hamid Karzai is apparently ticked off:

President Hamid Karzai accused the West on Thursday of trying to ruin Afghanistan's elections, intensifying a showdown with parliament over whether foreigners will oversee a parliamentary vote this year.
"Foreigners will make excuses, they do not wan… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 31, 2010 12:50PM

Obama's Climate Plan: Kill the Bill or Drill, Baby, Drill?

I'm having my Jane Hamsher moment.

Having read the New York Times' preview of President Obama's off-shore drilling plan, I want to write every congressman I can to ask that this bill not go forward. I want Democrats to vote it/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 30, 2010 3:43PM

Insurers Agree to Cover Kids With Pre-Existing Conditions

This morning, The New York Times ran a story called "Coverage for Sick Children? Check Fine Print" which was exactly as depressing as it sounds. Facing the passage of health care reform and its immediate demand that children with pre-existing conditions be allowed to buy insurance, the compani… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 29, 2010 1:46PM

Man Arrested for Threatening Rep. Eric Cantor

Apparently a 33-year-old man in Philadelphia has been arrested after the FBI viewed YouTube videos of him threatening to kill Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House Republican Whip. TalkingPointsMemo has the full text of the U.S. Attorney's press release and affidavit:

On March 26, 2010, the FBI, San F… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 26, 2010 12:56PM

Home Borrowing Plan Gets Modified -- Again

The Obama administration has announced a major revamp of its premier housing help act, HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program), which is itself part of TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program). OMG, WTF? IDK!? Translation: What now?

This is a much… Read full post »

Three big headlines not to be hidden by Senate (and pending House) passage of the health care fixes:

1. Attached to that reconciliation bill was the aforementioned overhaul of student lending. This is (also) a big f'in' deal, though it's not what Joe Biden was referring to. The highlights:… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 25, 2010 1:20PM

Health Care Goes Back to the House. What?

"Yes, Mr. President, just a few more changes."

Updates appended below.

The health care bill is headed back to the House. Wait, what? I thought we were done with that. Oh, no. Apparently taking time out from introducing ridiculous measures, halting all committee work at 2 p.m., and fanning… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 24, 2010 1:20PM

The Next Big Reform: Immigration

SEIU photo of March for America / CC by NC-SA license

Last week, Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced new legislation to reform current immigration policies, which President Obama has endorsed. They wrote about it in The Washington Post:

Our plan has fo… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 23, 2010 2:26PM

Seven Years' War: Our Iraq Anniversary

Health care is the big f'in deal today (and good on ya, Joe Biden), but there exists other news in the world. Two other big events happened last weekend, and they deserve a mention, too: the seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and a huge march on Washington… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 22, 2010 1:46PM

Health Care Reform: What Happens Now

The House passed two bills last night: the Senate health care bill and the fix to it, the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act. The first passed 219-212; the second, 220-211. Hooray! Break out the champ-- what? Oh. There's still a little bit of work to be done. (Also it's… Read full post »

Serious health care post in a minute, but first: I've been listening to a rather specific list of songs in the last two days, to celebrate both the passage of health care reform AND to remind myself that most major battles are never completely won outright, but instead require years of… Read full post »

The Mid-Atlantic Region, as of Sunday at 11:25 Pacific Standard Time:

Click for larger image. Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 17, 2010 12:24PM

Kucinich says "yea," Jane Hamsher still screaming "nay."

So, health care reform seems a little closer to passage now, thanks in part to the switch to yes by liberal Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich (as ably reported by Heather Michon). Kucinich said today:

I know I have to make a decision, not on the bill as… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 17, 2010 12:36AM

Lady Gaga Says, "'Telephone' Your Senators about HCR."

And now, for something different.

Lady Gaga's latest music video, "Telephone," premiered last week, and as it quickly became the hottest thing since (and including) sliced bread, I suppose it's not much surprise that the video and commentary on it showed up everywhere. The crowning a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 15, 2010 2:54PM

In Defense of Rielle Hunter

Photo by ADC/Flickr/ CC

I have to admit, I'm captivated by the Rielle Hunter/John Edwards story. I have been for a while. I know it's wrong. I know it makes me some kind of leech or lecher or... loser? Something starting with an L. I just can't stop looking, and/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 15, 2010 11:42AM

Leaving "No Child Left Behind" Behind -- Finally

During his radio address Saturday, President Obama announced that his education reform blueprint will be sent to Congress today, with high hopes that it will be passed sometime in August. This reform package would include a number of changes and fixes to the current No Child Left Behind law… Read full post »

A big curriculum battle has been fought in Texas, and today, conservatives won:

After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas School Board on Friday voted to approve a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the role of Christia… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 12, 2010 12:58PM

Friday is Fed-Day: Janet Yellen to be Appointed Vice-Chair

It's Friday, and I feel like talking about Tim Geithner.

Janet Yellen official Fed photoIn lieu of that, though, I'm happy to discuss the Fed for a moment. The New York Times is reporting that San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen (that's her to the right) has been chosen as the new Fed vice-chair.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 11, 2010 7:15PM

Senate Close to Attaching Student Loan Bill and HCR

Well, just when you think Democrats are a risk-averse bunch of, ah, goldfish, they do something I admire:

The chairmen of the Senate and House education committees said on Thursday that they would fight to attach President Obama’s proposed overhaul of student lending programs to the budget rec… Read full post »