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Overnight News Digest, aka OND, is a community feature here at Daily Kos. Each editor selects news stories on a wide range of topics.

The OND community was founded by Magnifico.

Obama considering MIT physicist Moniz for energy secretary - sources

By Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason

President Barack Obama is considering naming nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz, who is one of his science and energy advisers, as the next energy secretary, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
Moniz, who was second in command at the Energy Department during the Clinton administration, is a familiar figure on Capitol Hill, where he has often talked to lawmakers about how abundant supplies of U.S. natural gas will gradually replace coal as a source of electricity.
Moniz is director of MIT's Energy Initiative, a research group that gets funding from industry heavyweights including BP, Chevron, and Saudi Aramco for academic work on projects aimed at reducing climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Florida's new business logo is sexist, critics say

By W.J. Hennigan

Florida has a new business slogan and logo, "Florida: the Perfect Climate for Business," which appears pretty straightforward -- except that the "I" in Florida has been swapped with a men's necktie.
The decision has drawn fire from critics who say the logo is sexist. The ad campaign was launched by Enterprise Florida Inc., a pro-business group funded in part by the state.
One commenter wrote on the group’s Facebook page: “I think this logo sends the wrong message, it seems to scream 'we don't hire women' maybe that was not the intention, but that is the message.”

Official: Obama to give white paper on targeted killings to Congress

By Lesa Jansen

Amid new controversy over his administration's targeted killing of American citizens overseas by drones, President Barack Obama has yielded to demands that he turn over to Congress classified Justice Department legal advice seeking to justify the policy, an administration official said.
The president's move comes on the eve of confirmation hearings Thursday for his CIA director nominee John Brennan and amid complaints from senators, including several Democrats, about secrecy surrounding the drone policy.
"Today, as part of the president's ongoing commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters, the president directed the Department of Justice to provide the congressional Intelligence committees access to classified Office of Legal Counsel advice related to the subject of the Department of Justice White Paper," an administration official said.

After Floating Idea of Lifting Ban on Gays, Scouts Delay Decision

By Kirk Johnson

The Boy Scouts of America, which confirmed last summer its policy barring openly gay people from participation, then said last week that it was reconsidering the ban, announced Wednesday that it would postpone a decision once more, until May, as talk of gay men and lesbians in the ranks has roiled a storied organization that carries deep emotional connection and nostalgia for millions of Americans.
An end to the national ban, which the United States Supreme Court said in 2000 was legal free speech by a private organization, would create a new moment of risk, experimentation and change, people on both sides of the issue said. The proposal floated last week would allow local scouting units to decide membership rules for themselves, a middle road.
Even proposing the change created fracture lines. Some supporters of the ban said they feared a wave of departures by conservative church-sponsored troops, while supporters of a new policy said the risk was in not going far enough — although each side acknowledged that scouting, with fewer boys every year wearing the tan uniform, needed to find new ways to connect with young people.

Philanthropist Richard A. Herman leaves fortune to D.C. charity, symphony, opera

Annie Gowen

Richard A. Herman lived in the Watergate for more than 40 years and was a longtime patron of the arts, but the shy railroad heir was virtually unknown in Washington social circles for much of his long life.
Family Matters of Greater Washington is set to hold a splashy news conference Wednesday at the National Press Club to announce that Herman, who died in November at 100, left the organization 60 percent of his vast estate — $28 million, which the group says is one of the largest gifts ever to a local social service organization.
And the Kennedy Center said Tuesday that Herman left $15 million to the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera — the largest bequest in the institution’s history.

Black History Month: Remembering African-American women who have served

By Alexis Garrett Stodghil

When outgoing defense secretary Leon Panetta lifted the military ban against women serving in combat, a common phrase heard in response to his decision was this: women have been serving for decades in combat zones indirectly, and risking their lives. The lifting of the ban was merely a formality that in many ways acknowledged the bravery and sacrifices women in the military have been making for decades.
New York’s Daily News has published an essay with a similar theme in honor of black women to commemorate Black History Month. Much as women in general have been contributing without appreciation for their level of service, the significant participation of African-American women in the military has been largely overlooked — perhaps to an even greater extent.
“According to the Indiana-based Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum, African-American women have played a role in every war effort in United States history,” writes Jay Mwamba of the Daily News. “And black women participated in spite of the twin evils of racial and gender discrimination.”

Navy to pull aircraft carrier from Persian Gulf over budget worries

By Jim Miklaszewski and Andrew Rafferty

Budget constraints are prompting the U.S. Navy to cut back the number of aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf region from two to one, the latest example of how contentious fiscal battles in Washington are impacting the U.S. military.
According to Defense Department officials, the USS Harry S. Truman, which was set to leave for the Persian Gulf region on Friday, will now remain stateside, based in Norfolk, Virginia. 
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the change to the department’s “two-carrier policy” in the Persian Gulf region early Wednesday.

News of end of Saturday mail reveals generation gap

Rick Hampson

Sure, we can wait 'til Monday for the credit card applications, gym membership ads, Chinese food menus, supermarket sales fliers and save-the-date reminders, for the monthly electric bill and the latest issue of AARP magazine.
There's not much besides paper spam in mailboxes these days. But for many Americans, the Postal Service's plan to end Saturday mail delivery after 150 years symbolizes the broader decline of an institution that predates the nation it helped bind.
The news Wednesday that Saturday mail delivery will end in August also revealed a generation gap between those of a certain age — some of whom can even recall twice-daily delivery — and those who read any mail worth reading on their phone.

Ashley Judd mocked in GOP ad. Will it scare her off Kentucky Senate run?

By Peter Grier

Did Ashley Judd think running for Senate in Kentucky would be a pleasant experience? If so, that’s an illusion that’s now probably been dispelled. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads "super PAC" has just released a brutal ad that torches Ms. Judd, who’s considering a Bluegrass State bid to unseat Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. It’ll be interesting to see if the spot helps scare her off – or if it lights her competitive fires and draws a response in kind.
he ad starts with a fake trailer listing production information. Its “client” is listed as “Ashley Judd, really?” The “title” is “Vote for me, you hillbillies.” The “date” is posted as, “Whenever Obama tells her to run."
Then an image flashes on screen of flags, sun streaming through a country porch, and so forth, and the fun really starts. “You know what this country really needs? An independent voice ... for Obama,” says the narrator.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (29+ / 0-)

    It's your victories that give you your confidence but it's your setbacks that give you your character. -Van Jones

    by Oke on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:00:10 PM PST

  •  A Peek At The Next Season Of "Futurama" (12+ / 0-)

    From the A.V. Club:

    New episodes of Futurama return this summer, and by the looks of things, there’s an awful lot of space-related wackiness going on, including: parodies of The Thing and E.T., spaceship drag races, Satanic rebooting rituals, some sort of Cobra Command planet, etc. But if you’re a fan of the show, no doubt all your enjoyment of these continued hijinks will come to a screeching halt with the sudden, split-second appearance of a certain dog whose certain years-long vigil for a certain owner created a certain abyss of unyielding sadness within you that can never be filled, even with your copious tears. Or what do we know? For those still traumatized by “Jurassic Bark,” perhaps this brief glimpse of Fry frolicking with his beloved Seymour again will have you looking forward to seeing happier times. And if it’s just a painful reminder, well, at least the workday is almost over, so it wouldn’t be too weird if you ran out crying.
    As the blockquote mentions & alludes to, "Futurama" can still lay claim to having one of the saddest scenes of any television show ever.

  •  Tis Better To Reign In Hell..... (12+ / 0-)

    I have a fascination with bad movies and one of my favorite podcasts is Earwolf's How Did This Get Made? So it was a pleasant surprise when they decided to analyze 1997's 'The Devil's Advocate' in their latest show.

    If you wanted to build a case that Keanu Reeves can't act, this would probably be Exhibit A. I know Reeves' acting really irritates some people, but I've always thought he was fine in his most successful movies (The Matrix, Speed, Point Break, etc.). But in 'The Devil's Advocate,'  his stiff as cardboard acting with the addition of quite possibly the worst southern accent in film history, add up to a God-awful performance. Especially since that performance also has to contrast against Al Pacino's waaaayyyyy over the top acting.


    • Al Pacino turned down the film 5 times before finally agreeing to his role. Supposedly, he agreed only after more rewrites & being given script input.
    • Joel Schumacher was originally set to direct the film in 1994 with Brad Pitt.
    • Charlize Theron had apprehensions about appearing nude in the film, since she had turned down 'Showgirls' for precisely that reason.
    • Sculptor Frederick Hart and the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington, DC, sued Warner Brothers over a sculpture that appears in the film and closely resembles Hart's "Ex Nihilo", which is situated above Milton's desk in his apartment. A last-minute deal was negotiated to allow the sculpture to remain in the film.
  •  sodium-potassium pump (11+ / 0-)
    Neurons rely on calcium ions to fire: For the first time, scientists have captured a video of neuron signals firing across the brain of an unrestrained, living animal.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/....

    Animation: How the Sodium Potassium Pump Works - Animation

    Animal Nervous System:

    A nerve impulse results from ion movements of in and out of voltage-gated channels

    A sensory input causes Na+ channels to open
    Sudden influx of Na+ into cell causes “depolarization”

    Local voltage change opens adjacent Na+ channels
    Thus, an action potential is produced

    After a slight delay, K+ voltage-gated channels open
    K+ flows out of the cell

    The negative charge in the cell is restored
    Na+ channels snap close again

    The resting potential is restored by the action of the sodium-potassium pump

    http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/...
    Human

    What is the importance of the sodium-potassium pump for the cell membrane?

    The sodium-potassium pump has many uses in cell function. The most obvious is that it helps maintain the electrochemical gradient in the cell.

    It allows for maintenance of the membrane potential by keeping a higher concentration of potassium inside the cell than out side, while maintaining a higher concentration of sodium outside than in (also the membrane is virtually impermeable to chloride owing to the negative charge which the membrane produces).

    Also in terms of a chemical gradient the sodium-potassium pump allows absorptive cells to transport nutrients into the the cell via secondary active transport.

    For example, glucose is co-transported (aka symported) with sodium into the cell, this process actually uses no energy, even though glucose is transported against its concentration gradient, because sodium flows down its concentration gradient allow the glucose symporter to function.

    Without the sodium-potassium pump the transport of glucose would eventually cease because the sodium would eventually equalize in the cell. Also the sodium potassium pump functions in restoring a muscle or neuronal cell to normal levels of sodium and potassium after synaptic activity.

    Source(s):

    Med school biochemistry and physiology

    http://answers.yahoo.com/...
  •  Conservatives Must Kill USPS Because Constitution (13+ / 0-)
    Section. 8.

    Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises...

     Clause 7: To establish Post Offices....

    The Communist document where this is found does not reflect the Intent Our Founder Should Originally Have Had, which is found in our most sacred document, the Articles of Confederation.
    The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of ... establishing or regulating post offices from one State to another, throughout all the United States, and exacting such postage on the papers passing through the same as may be requisite to defray the expenses of the said office....
    Oh shit.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:10:44 PM PST

  •  The Florida logo sexist? (12+ / 0-)

    Ya Think?

    Doesn't every businesswoman you know wear a tie each day.

    Thanks Oke. Good to see you.

    The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by maggiejean on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:11:54 PM PST

  •  Breaking Bad’s Return Will Be ‘Hank-Centric’ (10+ / 0-)

    From New York Magazine's Vulture:

    Breaking Bad is ending. Remember? Of course you remember; it's the blood in your veins, the air in your lungs. As usual with the show, actual information about the final eight episodes is scant, but actor Dean Norris says they'll be "Hank-centric." Not that he wanted it that way. "When [AMC] originally picked up the 16 [episodes] I thought, 'Great, I can do a pilot, do the 16 and then be free to do a show," Norris tells Canada's National Post. But man plans, God laughs! God here is AMC. "Then at some point fucking whoever decided they were going to split it into two eights so it cut me off from doing a pilot — and I had a pilot I wanted to do." So he made a request. "I called Vince [Gilligan] and I said, ‘Hey man, maybe Hank should die in the first eight [of season five]." Gilligan demurred — "I need you, what else am I going to write about in the last eight?" Norris says he was told — and here we are. Presumably this means Hank does not die in the first episode back!
  •  Thank you!!! (10+ / 0-)

    Best wishes to all here!!!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:13:34 PM PST

  •  Ground control to Major Mahmoudahmadinejad ... (11+ / 0-)

    (apologies to David Bowie)

    he is ready to be first Iranian in space

    Iran declared last week that it had successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved it alive, which officials hailed as a major step towards their goal of sending humans into space.

    "I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists," Ahmadinejad said on Monday, on the sidelines of an exhibition of space achievements in Tehran, according to the Mehr news agency.

    "Sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists." Ahmadinejad is known for provocative public comments and it was unclear whether the suggestion was a serious one.

    Father Time remains undefeated.

    by jwinIL14 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:14:00 PM PST

  •  A pleasure to (11+ / 0-)

    read this fine OND post. Many thanks.
    I still get interesting mail such as magazines and local newspaper. Trip to the mailbox is a highlight of the day.
    I know....get a life.

    Ceiling Cat rules....srsly.

    by side pocket on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:15:04 PM PST

  •  Thai Government Objects To Being Called..... (8+ / 0-)

    A "Haven For Prostitutes" on SNL by trying to get the video of the sketch removed from YouTube.


    From the A.V. Club:

    Last weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live featured a commercial parody in which various men extol the virtues of Rosetta Stone language-learning software, and the ease with which it enables them to pick up useful Thai phrases such as “How much?” and “Is that for the whole night?”—a lark predicated on the notion that some men travel to Thailand to take advantage of its government-tolerated sex industry, which is certainly a fanciful jest. Unfortunately, not everyone is laughing, even in a listless, home-on-a-Saturday-night-and-kinda-drunk sort of way: The Thai government has called upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help it address its prostitution problem in inarguably the most effective way: By getting this SNL sketch removed from YouTube, so that no one will ever associate Thailand with prostitution again.

    But of course, that’s not all Thailand plans on doing, because that would be laughably insignificant and totally avoiding the issue. “The government will also inform the US Embassy that the commercial spoof is tarnishing Thailand’s image, and will ask the embassy to explain the situation to the producer of Saturday Night Live,” Thai Culture Minister Sonthaya Khunploem said in lambasting the sketch’s impact on Thailand’s public image, which was until now mostly just about curry and those pretty umbrellas with paintings on them.

  •  government & culture (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.youtube.com/...
    Brain invaders - Jessie Ventura TruTV
    Mark Phillips, former CIA agent
    Dr. Robert Duncan, CIA Mind Control expert

    http://blog.bioethics.gov/

    MEETING TWELVE: January 14-15, 2013
    Miami, Florida

    Read the Federal Register Notice.
    Read the agenda.
    Watch the webcast.
    Read the transcript.
    Read coverage on our blog.
    Read coverage on Medical Countermeasures for Children.
    Location: University of Miami Hospital Seminar Center, 1400 NW 12th Ave., First Floor, Miami, Florida 33136

    In November 2009, Barack Obama appointed Amy Gutmann chair of the new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and reappointed her in early 2012.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...
    Amy Gutmann

    TRANSCRIPT: Meeting 4, Session 10 (excerpt)

    Public Comment
    http://bioethics.gov/...
    DATE
    March 1, 2011
    LOCATION
    Washington, D.C.
    DOWNLOAD THE TRANSCRIPT
     Meeting 4 - Session 10.pdf
    TRANSCRIPT (EXCERPT)

    DR. GUTMANN:

    If you would keep your comments brief, I would be very appreciative. Because if you don’t, I’m afraid I have to make time for others. Just give us one moment, please.

    My name is Dr. John Hall. I am a medical doctor from Texas. As I understand the memorandum from the President, it is for you to determine if current legislation is adequate in protecting individuals and if there is any ongoing experimentation.

    In reviewing the Common Rule, it is very obvious that there is a lot of loop holes to informed consent. All of the horrific experiments you have mentioned, Willowbrook, MKULTRA, radiation experiments, mostly were done without informed consent. They were funded by the DoD and intelligence agencies where I am not even so sure you would know if there is an IRB, much less if an IRB is looking at informed consent.

    As a physician, relative to some of what you are hearing today, in the community we are seeing an alarming rate of complaints of use of electromagnetic weapons. Microwave auditory effects, silent sound spectrum, EEG cloning, which has taken the lab out of the laboratory and into the home. Most of these from the research that we have reviewed can be done remotely. It seems to be more weapons research than medical research.

    I personally corresponded with upwards of 1500 victims all complaining of identical complaints from every state in the nation of being exposed to electromagnetic radiation, non-ionizing radiation for the use of cognitive control or behavior control.

    I submitted a paper to you and there is another paper submitted to each member from another physician in Kansas City alluding to the same thing.

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