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  • We still can't quite believe this, but the Supreme Court issued this very brief order on Tuesday, re-opening about a dozen of Texas's abortion clinics that had been shut down by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month while the lower court decides the underlying case:

    The application to vacate stay of final judgment pending appeal presented to Justice Scalia and by him referred to the court is granted in part and denied in part. The Court of Appeals’ stay order with reference to the district court’s order enjoining the admitting-privileges requirement as applied to the McAllen and El Paso clinics is vacated. The Court of Appeals’ stay order with reference to the district court’s order enjoining the ambulatory surgical center requirement is vacated. The application is denied in all other respects.

    Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito would deny the application in its entirety.

    That last line isn't a surprise, but what is surprising is that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the liberals on the court. Neither of them are known for giving a damn about women's access to health care. In fact, the 5th Circuit relied heavily on Kennedy's 2007 opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart, upholding the "Partial Birth Abortion" ban (grrrrr, argggggh, anger anger ANGER), so it's extra bizarre that he was on the "nuh-uh, you gotta open those clinics" side this time. Maybe he has had a change of heart? That must be it.

    And as Kennedy himself would say, while we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some justices come to regret their choice.

  • No, Nazi is not in fashion:

    Sears has apologized and removed a men’s swastika ring that was briefly for sale on its Marketplace website.

    The “.925 Thai silver Swastika ring” was listed under the “men’s punk rock style” jewelry category.

  • Stephen Hawking was right:

    A whisper from a lab-manufactured black hole may confirm the existence of radiation predicted by University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking four decades ago. If validated by further research, the finding would offer evidence that particles blinking in and out of existence can rob black holes of mass.

    "It's amazing, groundbreaking work," says Daniele Faccio, a physicist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. The work "demonstrates something that everyone thought was impossible."

    For decades, scientists thought of black holes as everlasting objects from which nothing, not even light, could escape. But in the mid-1970s, Hawking proposed an amendment to that rule with huge implications. [...]

    After initially expressing skepticism, physicists have largely embraced the idea of Hawking radiation, and today it lies at the heart of the quest to unify general relativity, the theory that explains the very large stuff in the universe, and quantum mechanics, which dictates the very small[.]

  • Speaking of people who were right, here are two guys who have never been:

    Sitting down with neoconservative pundit William Kristol for a nearly two-hour interview, Cheney discussed at length what the sycophantic Kristol called his “distinguished,” “exemplary,” and “model” career. Most notable was Cheney’s brazen defense of the Bush administration’s post-9/11 national security policies, for which he asserted “I don’t think we have any apologies to make.”

    Employing the Bush White House’s Orwellian phrase of choice to describe torture, the former vice president hailed “enhanced interrogation techniques” as key to the administration’s anti-terrorism efforts.

    “[W]hat are you gonna do?” Cheney asked. “Just say ‘please, please, pretty please, tell us what you know’? That’s not gonna work.” [...]

    “We’ve got no choice but to be involved in [the Middle East],” Cheney said. “And if we’re not actively involved there, some very bad things are gonna happen.”

    Regardless of how embroiled the U.S. is in the region, Cheney expects a “mass casualty attack” at some point that will be even worse than the 9/11 attacks.

  • Mean Obama Twitter account sticks it to idiots, idiots outraged:
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Gonna be a long day, y'all, you ready to dive in? We should note at the outset that any of the questions about obstruction of justice are colored by the fact that Trump refused to sit for an interview with Robert Mueller. Guess that's part of why Robert Mueller refused to clear him! But anyway, we will have more time for thoughts as we read.

Let's read the Mueller Report!

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April 20 will be the 20th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School. Mother Jones yesterday published a report on mass shooters (or would-be shooters) who in one way or another mentioned the Columbine murders as something they wanted to emulate, or as a benchmark they hoped to outdo. Since 1999, there have been more than 100 plots or actual attacks influenced by Columbine. MoJo national affairs editor Mark Follman notes,

And those are just the cases for which there is some kind of public record: In talking with law enforcement and mental health sources who work to prevent such attacks, I've learned of dozens more Columbine-influenced threats that never made the news.
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