Tuesday Reads: NASA Goes to Jupiter and Other News

Juno spacecraft

Juno spacecraft

Good Afternoon!!

Lots of breaking news this morning. FBI Director James Comey just held a press conference to announce that the FBI will not be recommending criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her handling of State Department emails. NBC News reports:

“No reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey told reporters.

Federal investigators did not find evidence of intentional wrongdoing, he said — but there is evidence the former secretary of state and her staff were “extremely careless.”

Comey said 110 emails sent or received on the Clinton server contained classified information. He also said it’s possible “hostile actors” gained access to the server.

So there’s still plenty of fodder for the Clinton haters and conspiracy theorists to scream out. Meanwhile, Wikileaks released a more than 1,200 of Clinton’s emails. The Independent:

The website tweeted a link to 1,258 emails on Monday that Clinton sent during her time as secretary of state. According to the release, the emails were obtained from the US State Department after they issued a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails stem from a State Department release back in February, The Hill reports.

And from NY Magazine:

If you have some hours to kill, you could do worse than a deep dive into the Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks yesterday. The site went through the emails released earlier in the year by the State Department looking for any mentions of the Iraq War. The 1,258 emails show mostly that people at the State Department are just like us, namely in that they spend their days sending their colleagues links to things they read online.

It doesn’t sound all that exciting, but Julian Assange thinks Clinton should be prosecuted. This from the guy who ran from a rape charge.

Watch Comey’s press conference:


There’s been another terrorist attack, this time in Saudi Arabia. Reuters: U.N. rights boss calls bombing near Saudi holy mosque an attack on Islam.

The U.N. human rights chief on Tuesday called a suicide bombing outside the Prophet Mohammad’s Mosque in the Saudi city of Medina an attack on Islam itself and many Muslims expressed shock that their second-holiest site had been targeted.

Three apparently coordinated suicide attacks on Monday targeted Medina, the U.S. consulate in Jeddah and the largely Shi’ite Muslim city of Qatif on Monday. At least four security officers were killed.

No group has claimed responsibility but Islamic State has carried out similar bombings in the U.S.-allied kingdom in the past year, targeting Shi’ites and Saudi security forces.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and a member of the Jordanian royal family, delivered his remarks via a spokesman in Geneva.

“This is one of the holiest sites in Islam, and for such an attack to take place there, during Ramadan, can be considered a direct attack on Muslims all across the world,” he said, referring to the Islamic holy month.

“It is an attack on the religion itself.”

Militant attacks on Medina are unprecedented. The city is home to the second-holiest site in Islam, a mosque built by the Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, which also houses his tomb.

NBC News: ISIS Fulfills Promise of Deadly Ramadan as Holy Month Comes to an End.

With Ramadan drawing to a close on Tuesday, ISIS has fulfilled its promise of staining the Muslim holy month with bloodshed around the globe—taking credit for some of the deadly attacks that have killed hundreds in several countries, including in Iraq, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Turkey, Saudi Arabia.

The terrorist group vowed in May, just before Ramadan began, to make it “with God’s permission, a month of pain for infidels everywhere.” And that it was, with many countries remaining on high alert following the attacks.

The past few days have been particularly violent. Suicide bombs rocked two Saudi Arabian cities on Monday, killing at least four security officers, wounding five other people — and coming just hours after authorities in a third city stopped a bomber just feet from the U.S. Consulate.

On the attacks in Saudi Arabia:

In Saudi Arabia, the attacks began Sunday night, when a suicide bomber was stopped by security personnel in a hospital parking lot about 30 feet from the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah.

The bomber detonated an explosive belt, killing himself and “slightly” injuring two officers, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement. No Americans were hurt and all State Department personnel were accounted for.

Hours later, on the other side of the country, a pair of suicide bombers attacked the Persian Gulf city of Qatif, a Ministry of Interior source confirmed to NBC News. Details of casualties in the largely minority Shi’ite city were not immediately available.

Shortly after that, four security officers were killed — as well as a suicide bomber — near the security headquarters of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, a site considered to be the second holiest in Islam.

The attack occurred in a parking lot outside the mosque, during Maghreb prayers, when the bomber pretended to break the Ramadan fast with a group of security personnel, al Arabiya reported.


Now for some positive–even thrilling–news. NASA’s Juno spacecraft is now orbiting Jupiter! CNN:

Jet Propulsion Lab, California (CNN)NASA says it has received a signal from 540 million miles across the solar system, confirming its Juno spacecraft has successfully started orbiting Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

Welcome to Jupiter!” flashed on screens at mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.

The Juno team cheered and hugged. “This is phenomenal,” said Geoff Yoder, acting administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate….

The probe had to conduct a tricky maneuver to slow down enough to allow it to be pulled into orbit: It fired its main engine for 35 minutes, effectively hitting the brakes to slow the spacecraft by about 1,212 miles per hour (542 meters per second).

Juno was launched nearly five years ago on a mission to study Jupiter’s composition and evolution. It’s the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo. Galileo was deliberately crashed into Jupiter on September 21, 2003, to protect one of its discoveries — a possible ocean beneath Jupiter’s moon Europa.

More from Spaceflight Now:

A 1/5th size scale model of NASA's Juno spacecraft is displayed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, July 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK

A 1/5th size scale model of NASA’s Juno spacecraft is displayed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, July 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK

Setting up post at the king of planets, NASA’s Juno spacecraft fired its main engine for 35 minutes Monday, steering into orbit around Jupiter to peer inside the gas giant and give scientists a better idea of how the solar system took shape 4.6 billion years ago.

Spinning on its axis once every 12 seconds, the probe’s British-built rocket thruster ignited and slowed down Juno just enough to be snared by Jupiter’s strong gravity field into a looping, 53-day-long orbit.

Confirmation of the burn’s successful conclusion reached Earth at 11:53 p.m. EDT (0353 GMT) via a radio tone broadcast by Juno, prompting applause and smiles inside the control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“All stations… we have the tone for burn cutoff on delta-v,” a ground controller said over a radio loop. “Welcome to Jupiter.”

Powered by three solar panels arranged in a propeller-like pattern around Juno’s main body, the Jupiter orbiter wrapped up a five-year, 1.7-billion-mile (2.8-billion-kilometer) trip with Monday’s automated rendezvous with the solar system’s biggest planet.

“Tonight, through tones, Juno sang to us, and it was a song of perfection,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno’s project manager at JPL. “After a 1.7-billion-mile journey, we hit our burn target within one second.”

The record-setting journey made Juno the farthest spacecraft from the sun to ever rely on solar power, and Monday’s maneuver made the $1.1 billion mission the second to ever orbit Jupiter.

Read more about it at the link.

Hillary will be campaigning with President Obama this afternoon–that should also be exciting. Politico: Obama and Clinton rally against Trump.

When Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama publicly reconciled eight years ago at a celebrated summer rally in Unity, New Hampshire, the two recent rivals were still closer to being opponents than friends.

While both candidates were set on healing the Democratic Party after a divisive primary, the lead-up to the event was fraught. Did their show of warmth — a kiss on the tarmac in Washington, D.C., as they boarded a chartered plane together — appear genuine? Would their praise for each other — “she rocks,” gushed Obama, seeking to win over her supporters — seem too forced?

When President Obama takes the stage at the Charlotte Convention Center with Clinton on Tuesday afternoon for their first joint rally of the 2016 campaign, it will be most notable for how far the two leaders of the Democratic Party have come in the eight intervening years.

“It is as far from fraught as can be,” said Obama’s former chief strategist, David Axelrod, of Obama’s long-anticipated campaign trail debut. “He’s been chomping at the bit to get out there. There’s so many reasons why he feels strongly about this — part of it is his genuine respect for her, part of it is his feelings about the alternative. There’s no half-hearted warrior here.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton confidant, said of Tuesday’s rally that unlike eight years ago, “they have such a great relationship that there’s nothing to psychoanalyze. He wants to do everything he can for her.”


I can’t wait to watch them together on stage. On Friday Hillary will campaign with Joe Biden in his birthplace, Scranton, PA.

Here’s something else to look forward to. Buzzfeed is going to be working “a new beat” that will involve countering fake news and viral lies. First Draft News: How BuzzFeed wants to use its social media acumen to take on the hoaxers.

BuzzFeed Canada editor and First Draft Coalition member Craig Silverman will be leading the charge from Toronto, “bringing his deep expertise at debunking hoaxes to our reporting arsenal,” said Scott Lamb, BuzzFeed’s head of international growth, “and acting as a resource for all BuzzFeed editions, as well as a watchdog on behalf of our readers worldwide.”

“We’re in a really early phase of testing” Silverman told First Draft, “and seeing what’s going to work in terms of content produced and what works for the BuzzFeed audience.”

Almost every other story in the last month from Silverman, who founded the (currently dormant) rumour-tracking project Emergent, has been a debunk of one kind or another.Quick stories which set the record straight, in-depth investigations into the phenomenon of misinformation and weekly quizzes of the latest fake news to go viral have all been testing grounds to see what resonates with readers.

The biggest challenge for BuzzFeed – and for fact-checkers and debunkers the world over – will be in figuring out a way to make debunks travel as far and fast as the false rumours they address.

Read more at the link.

I haven’t heard anything about Bernie Sanders for days. I’ve been ignoring him, but he also seems to have dropped out of the news. But he’s still getting Secret Service protection. CNN: Sanders’ campaign is over, yet Secret Service motorcade roars on.

Bernie Sanders is back to his old day job, trading the booming applause of his campaign rallies to the far more tedious work of the Senate….But just off the Senate floor and across the Capitol, one vestige of his presidential campaign remains: his Secret Service detail. And taxpayers are footing the bill.

Protecting a presidential candidate costs about $40,000 a day, a federal official familiar with the Homeland Security budget told CNN. For Sanders, that’s more than a half-million dollars since the last primary on June 14. The cost could grow by nearly $2 million if he stays in the race through the Democratic convention in Philadelphia later.

The federal official said it’s difficult to tally exact costs, since some agents are working on other projects simultaneously, but the overall amount spent on Sanders is far higher when calculating the weeks of protection he received after the nomination was effectively out of his reach, as Hillary Clinton surpassed him in the delegate count.

Sanders waved off questions on the matter.

Maybe he’ll keep right on campaigning through November 8. Nothing would surprise me at this point.
What else is happening? What stories are you following today?

49 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: NASA Goes to Jupiter and Other News”

  1. Delphyne49 says:

    • dakinikat says:

      lol!!! All the Bernie bros can say now is do we want a “careless” president? Sheesh, Talk about desperation!!!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      MSNBC just brought on Rudy Guiliani to say that Comey should have prosecuted even though Guiliani has no idea what evidence the FBI had or didn’t have. I’m sick as hell of MSNBC and CNN giving people like Rudy (who they spoke with via phone) a platform to spew their uneducated opinions. Fuck MSNBC!!!!

      • Fannie says:

        I am tired of them too, had to turn off tv………….Joy Reid is doing a great job, and so sick, now they got Darrell Issa out talking shit out of his mouth.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      And I’d be willing to bet that after the 4 year sentence she’ll get another 4 year sentence.

    • NW Luna says:

      Love this!

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Interesting op-ed by Peter Wehner in the NYT: The Theology of Donald Trump.

    To better understand Mr. Trump’s approach to life, ethics and politics, we should not look to Christ but to Friedrich Nietzsche, who was repulsed by Christianity and Christ. “What is good?” Nietzsche asks in “The Anti-Christ”: “Whatever augments the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. What is evil? Whatever springs from weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power increases – that resistance is overcome.”

    Whether or not he has read a word of Nietzsche (I’m guessing not), Mr. Trump embodies a Nietzschean morality rather than a Christian one. It is characterized by indifference to objective truth (there are no facts, only interpretations), the repudiation of Christian concern for the poor and the weak, and disdain for the powerless. It celebrates the “Übermensch,” or Superman, who rejects Christian morality in favor of his own. For Nietzsche, strength was intrinsically good and weakness was intrinsically bad. So, too, for Donald Trump.

    Those who believe this is merely reductionism should consider the words of Jesus: Do you have eyes but fail to see and ears but fail to hear? Mr. Trump’s entire approach to politics rests on dehumanization. If you disagree with him or oppose him, you are not merely wrong. You are worthless, stripped of dignity, the object of derision. This attitude is central to who Mr. Trump is and explains why it pervades and guides his campaign. If he is elected president, that might-makes-right perspective would infect his entire administration.

    • pdgrey says:

      For anyone who has “had to” read Nietzsche, not Trump ( just a greedy money grubber) this article makes a lot of sense. “might-makes-right perspective’, the guy can’t tell the truth in one sentence. It was once said about Newt Gingrich “no brakes and no rear view mirror”.

      • dakinikat says:

        yeah. I had to read a little bit of every one in my basic philosophy courses as an undergrad and it makes a lot of sense. He’s certainly not St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas either.

        • pdgrey says:

          God, so glad someone else read it! I just wanted a grade.

          • dakinikat says:

            I was fascinated with philosophy for awhile because I came from a place that discouraged thinking in general but critical thought specifically.

          • pdgrey says:

            Dak, my family was very liberal, in the 50’s, boy that was fun! It’s strange where we come from and where we live and think as we get older.Thanks for commenting.

          • NW Luna says:

            Oh, I had to read him too…or else I did for “enrichment,” I forget which. Not that much; probably just an important chapter (which was enough). Even then I didn’t like Nietzsche.

      • janicen says:

        I read a little Nietzsche in high school not because it was required but it was part of my research writing a paper on “The Steppenwolf” by Herman Hesse. It came up again in a Philosophy class in undergrad. What I mainly remember is how his writing is used, interpreted and misinterpreted to suit a variety of viewpoints. He wasn’t an anti-Semite but his work was used to justify anti-Semitism and other abhorrent positions.

  3. Fannie says:

    No one seems to have heard Comey (a Bush appointee) say that like most government agencies they are “careless” with information/emails, etc. I forget all the details when Bush changed the intelligence agencies into Homeland Security, but we know that so many different agencies have different criteria, and this is going to happen more often than not. I think there are 16 intelligence agencies, and they all have different standards of how they classify information. There is not one system, under one umbrella. I am glad it’s over, the problem is resolved, and we are turning the pages.

    She said early on, years ago that one of her weaknesses was dealing with computers….I myself have issues on dealing with protection, and information, etc.

  4. dakinikat says:

    From Wapo if you want to read the comments rather than watch the clip up top.

    • dakinikat says:

      This is the full quote related to what is above:

      “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

      In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.”

      I also think the last paragraph is important and the last two sentences on intent is significant because it means that stupid idea that she’s sneaky, untrustworthy and goes out of her way to hide things is pure nonsense.

      I’m tired of the US Taxpayer and US civil servants paying for and doing opposition research for the damn republican party. Enough of this!!!!

      • NW Luna says:

        Yes, the whole thing is a waste of time and money. We should be instead see Bush & Cheney — and Powell — investigated for lying to Congress and the American people. Not holding my breath on that.

        • Fannie says:

          Just recently, Great Brittain ordered that Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, go down in the history books on the Iraq War by giving false information to the citizens. I think we ought to do the same with Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfield and Powell. They should officially go down as giving over 200 false statements in regards to going to war with Iraq.

  5. bostonboomer says:


    • NW Luna says:

      Republican presidents have traditionally been bad for the economy. Trump would be a nightmare.

  6. Ron4Hills says:

    Bottom line, those waiting/hoping/praying for an indictment to disqualify our girl, wait in vain.

    There will be no magic hat rabbit for them to pull out.

    They will have to actually litigate the election.

    Not a bunch of trumped up (see what I did) BS charges. They will try but without DOJ and FBI back up.

    Hallelujah. There was never anything in to Benghazi or the E-Mial thing but as long as thee was a “possibility” of charges in either case, they could pretend that it was a real thing.

  7. bostonboomer says:



    • Ron4Hills says:

      It won’t matter. They will try to ride the Comey comments for a while, but in the end it will be they same as Trey Gowdy and all the other conservative bags. The only headline here is “NO CHARGES!”

    • Joanelle says:

      Erica Werner just reported: “GOP to investigate FBI decision on Clinton emails.” Aha, another way to spend our money! We’ve got to identify a way for the Rice & Powell personal server stories to get legs.

      • Joanelle says:

        It just occurred to me that Comey’s hands were really tied. He may have wanted to come down harder on Hillary, but knew if he did he’d have to mention Rice, Powell and other government officials who used personal servers. It would also expose how woefully poor computer service is to government officials, not to mention the very limited space available to them on government servers; In addition to the fact that many elected officials and others holding powerful positions have little computer knowledge.

        • NW Luna says:

          the very limited space available to them on government servers

          Exactly. Federal employees have to delete emails all the time! They’re allowed only miniscule amounts of email space.

  8. janicen says:

    I’m with her!

  9. pdgrey says:

    Sanders spokesman: FBI’s decision on Clinton will not affect his campaign
    “At this point, I don’t think that even Hillary’s inauguration is going to affect Bernie’s campaign.
    Sanders’ spokesman: impending supernova of the Sun will not affect his campaign.
    In Bernie’s defense, it’s hard to stop when you’re running downhill”.
    Comments on Wonkette.

    What the hell is he “Bernie” thinking? This shi*t is to damn close. Hillary needs everyone. The news today has been horrible. She always gets the “news” treatment. Hell, Nixon didn’t get this crap when he got on the helicopter.

    • NW Luna says:

      Bernie: Definition A party or house guest who has long outstayed his welcome. Example: “My cousin drank so much at my party that he spent the night on my couch. Didn’t help me clean up, and in the morning demanded I pay his parking ticket since he’d parked illegally. He’s such a Bernie. I’m never inviting him again.”

      Doing a Bernie: Definition Clutching on to a belief long after it has been proven false. For example see “Flat Earthers.”