Posted by: Audiegrl
ThinkProgress/Amanda Terkel~Last year, President Obama nominated Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel, which, during the Bush administration, sanctioned torture. Johnsen, however, was an outspoken critic of the so-called “torture memos.” Conservatives blocked her nomination, and the White House has said that it plans to renominate her when the Senate officially reconvenes later this month. Even after he became a Democrat, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said that he opposed Johnsen’s nomination. However, today his office released a statement in which Specter says that he will now support her:
After voting ‘pass’ (which means no position) in the Judiciary Committee, I had a second extensive meeting with Ms. Johnsen and have been prepared to support her nomination when it reaches the Senate floor.
Spencer Ackerman notes that Republican Sen. Dick Lugar (IN) has also said he is standing by his support for Johnsen, meaning she has the 60 votes necessary to be confirmed.
Filed under Barack Obama, Cabinet, Democrats, Government, Law, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Republicans, Senate
Posted by: Audiegrl
Cleopatra's likeness was pieced together from images on ancient artifacts, including a ring dating from Cleopatra’s reign 2,000 years ago, and the remains of her sister Princess Arsinöe found in 2009
~~Ancient Egypt’s stunning eye make-up not only shielded wearers from the dark deeds of the evil eye but also protected them against eye disease, French scientists said Thursday.
Ancient Egyptians some 4,000 years ago produced the make-up used to darken and adorn eyes with lead and lead salts in mixtures that sometimes took a month to concoct, said Philippe Walter, who co-headed a team of scientists from the Louvre Museum
and the (CNRS) National Center of Scientific Research
“We knew ancient Greeks and Romans too had noted the make-up had medicinal properties, but wanted to determine exactly how,” he told AFP.
Contrary to widely held belief that lead is harmful, the team, using analytical chemistry, determined that “in very low doses lead does not kill cells.”
Curator Sally-Ann Ashton admires one of the statues of Cleopatra at the British Museum in London.
Instead, it produces a molecule — nitric oxide — that activates the immune defense system which beats back bacteria in case of eye infection.
The research was carried out using a tiny electrode, the 10th of the size of a hair, to look at the effect of a lead chloride synthesized by the Egyptians — laurionite — on a single cell.
Filed under Archaeology, Computers, Culture, Egypt, Health, History, Medicine, Pop Culture, Sciences, Technology, World
Posted by: Audiegrl
DADT Repeal: Democrats Move Forward With Plans
Huffington Post/Sam Stein~Congressional negotiators and White House officials are moving forward with plans to add the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to the upcoming defense authorization bill, Democratic sources tell the Huffington Post.
In Congress, members are being whipped to ensure that the votes will be there for passage, should the legislation be placed in the bill. At this juncture, aides say, the prospects look good. Meanwhile, a source close to the White House says the president has instructed the Defense Department that he believes the repeal of DADT should be placed in the authorization bill.
However, disagreements could emerge when it comes to crafting the actual legislative language, over which Defense Secretary Robert Gates will wield his influence. And at this juncture, few of the offices working on the issue said they were willing to take passage as a fait accompli.
“People have said publicly and privately that this is a good place for repeal to be placed,” said one Democratic aide on the Hill. “It would be reasonable to expect that repeal might be in this year’s defense authorization… But we aren’t assuming anything yet.”
Lt. Dan Choi is an Iraq war veteran, Arabic speaker and West Point graduate who is fighting his dismissal from the Army National Guard for violating the military's DADT policy
If repeal of DADT is added to the defense authorization bill, critics of the program will view it as a long-overdue move. The initial law, in which members of the military weren’t asked about their sexuality nor allowed to serve openly, was passed as part of the defense authorization for FY1994. Since then, a delicate balance — which no particular side of the debate appreciated — has been the law of the land. As a result, thousands of military personnel have hidden their sexuality from their superiors and even more have been dismissed for making their sexuality public.
Filed under Barack Obama, Cabinet, Culture, DADT, Democrats, Elections, Gay (LGBT) Rights, Government, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Presidents, Robert M. Gates (Sec of Defense), War, Women's Issues