Alaska Senator Mark Begich (D) has a message for his constituents: Re-elect me, and I'll keep being a pain in President Obama's butt. From The Washington Post:
When Sen. Mark Begich talks about his role in American politics, he describes himself as a sharp object, sent to Washington to jab at President Obama.
"I'll be a thorn in his [posterior]," Begich (D-Alaska) said in an interview. "There's times when I'm a total thorn, you know, and he doesn't appreciate it." [Washington Post]
Begich finds himself in the unenviable position of being a red-state Democratic incumbent in a year when neither incumbents nor President Obama are very popular. (The latest New York Times forecast gives him a 49 percent chance of returning to Washington next year.) Which explains why, in an attempt save his own seat, he's talking openly about pricking Obama in his. Jon Terbush
Sean Spicer downplays Russia's involvement in the 2016 election hack, claims 'other countries' were potentially involved
In an off-camera briefing at the White House on Monday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer apparently claimed that President Trump believes other countries, in addition to Russia, might have been involved in hacking the 2016 election:
Spicer on if Russia hacked election: "He believes that Russia probably was involved and potentially other countries." pic.twitter.com/MysOoQwP6q
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) June 26, 2017
Trump has long disputed the evidence that the Kremlin was involved in trying to swing the election, claiming during the campaign that "it could be Russia, but it could also be China, it could also be lots of other people. It could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?"
In a weekend interview with Hugh Hewitt, CIA Director Mike Pompeo also dismissed alarming evidence about Russia's involvement in the election. Pompeo said the news that "this election was meddled with by the Russians ... is frankly not particularly original. They've been doing this for an awfully long time. And we are decades into the Russians trying to undermine American democracy. So in some ways, there's no news."
Nintendo announced Monday that it will release a miniature version of its Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition this fall. The system, first launched in 1991, will come with two controllers and 21 games, including classics like Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, and F-ZERO, along with a previously unreleased sequel to Star Fox, Star Fox 2.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 26, 2017
This release comes on the heels of last year's mini NES Classic Edition, which was so popular that Nintendo struggled to meet demand. The limited edition gaming system was discontinued before many buyers got their hands on it.
Official NFL store sells Redskins novelty license plates featuring an illustration of the wrong Washington
If you only have a passing interest in football, you might be forgiven for thinking the Washington Redskins play in Washington state. But if you are the NFL itself, you should probably know better.
Which makes this vanity plate, briefly for sale in the NFL's official online store, absolutely hilarious:
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) June 26, 2017
As The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg so calmly puts it: "HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A PLACE CALLED WASHINGTON, D.C.? TURNS OUT IT IS THE CAPITAL OF THIS COUNTRY WEIRD RIGHT? AND IT ISN'T ACTUALLY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. THERE'S A DIFFERENT TEAM THAT PLAYS IN THAT STATE, AND REDSKINS FANS HATE THAT TEAM. ALSO GO TO GEOGRAPHY CLASS OR WHATEVER."
The Redskins, for whatever it's even worth at this point, play in Maryland. Jeva Lange
Largest American physicians group slams Senate health-care bill for violating the 'do no harm' standard
On Monday, the American Medical Association slammed the Senate's health-care bill in a scathing letter to Senate leadership. The largest physicians group in the nation declared that it could not support the Better Care Reconciliation Act introduced last week because it "violates" the medical standard of "first, do no harm" on "many levels."
Based on the "combination of smaller subsidies resulting from lower benchmarks and the increased likelihood of waivers of important protections such as required benefits, actuarial value standards, and out of pocket spending limits," the AMA predicted that "low- and middle-income patients" will face "higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care." In particular, the AMA cited concerns about the plan's proposed changes to Medicaid via a formula it declared was "arbitrary and unsustainable" and "extremely difficult and costly to fix."
"We sincerely hope that the Senate will take this opportunity to change the course of the current debate and work to fix problems with the current system," the AMA wrote. "We believe that Congress should be working to increase the number of Americans with access to quality, affordable health insurance instead of pursuing policies that have the opposite effect."
Read the AMA's full letter to Senate leaders below. Becca Stanek
NEW: AMA declares opposition to Senate GOP health care bill, saying it violates "first, do no harm" principle "on many levels.” pic.twitter.com/vpnAUIHtvs
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 26, 2017
A million suns isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion suns. Physicists from the University of Nebraska's aptly-named Extreme Light Laboratory have just made the brightest light ever produced on Earth, and it is one billion times brighter than the surface of the sun, Phys.org reports.
The super bright laser beam is helping researchers understand how light and matter interact. When light from a regular bulb or the sun strikes a surface, it "scatters," which is what allows us to see. In everyday circumstances, an electron scatters just a couple photons of light at a time, but with the University of Nebraska's laser, almost 1,000 photons scatter at once.
"It's as if things appear differently as you turn up the brightness of the light, which is not something you normally would experience," said the University of Nebraska's Donald Umstadter. "[An object] normally becomes brighter, but otherwise, it looks just like it did with a lower light level. But here, the light is changing [the object's] appearance. The light's coming off at different angles, with different colors, depending on how bright it is."
In one example, the scientists were able to create a high-resolution X-ray of a USB drive, photographing interior details that aren't able to be seen with regular X-rays. Understanding the phenomenon could help scientists find more sophisticated ways to "hunt for tumors or microfractures that elude conventional X-rays, map the molecular landscapes of nanoscopic materials now finding their way into semiconductor technology, or detect increasingly sophisticated threats at security checkpoints," Phys.org writes. "Atomic and molecular physicists could also employ the X-ray as a form of ultrafast camera to capture snapshots of electron motion or chemical reactions."
In a statement Monday, President Trump declared the Supreme Court's decision regarding his travel ban a "clear victory for our national security." The Supreme Court on Monday announced that it would review Trump's executive order temporarily banning travel from six majority-Muslim nations in October; in the meantime, it will allow the government to partly implement its ban, though only against people without a "bona fide" connection to the U.S.
Trump claimed in his statement that the court's decision allows his ban to become "largely effective." "Today's ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our nation's homeland," Trump said in the statement, noting he only wants people "who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive."
BuzzFeed News legal editor Chris Geidner reported that it "remains to be seen how big a change this is, given many have connections" to the U.S.
Twice in the statement, Trump lauded the fact that the Supreme Court unanimously agreed to review his ban and to partially reinstate it. However, the decision was actually made per curiam, meaning it was issued in the name of the court rather than by a unanimous consensus from the justices. Becca Stanek
Trump super PAC accuses a GOP senator of 'turning on voters' by opposing the Senate's health-care plan
President Trump's super PAC, America First Policies, is singling out a Republican lawmaker for opposing Senate Republicans' plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. In a Monday morning tweet, the nonprofit, which was started by Trump advisers to back Trump's policies, urged people to pressure Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to reverse his opposition to the Senate health-care bill. Heller on Friday became the fifth Republican senator to come out against the health-care proposal, declaring "there isn't anything in this bill that would lower premiums."
America First Policies declared Heller should be held "accountable [for] turning on voters" by opposing the proposed ObamaCare replacement plan. Both Heller and one of his staffers were called out by name in the tweet:
President Trump's Super PAC is going after Republican hill staffers by name. Unnecessary and classless. pic.twitter.com/NCjHTw1gZF
— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) June 26, 2017
This tweet isn't the first time America First Policies has called Heller out by name either: On Friday, the super PAC questioned in a tweet why Heller would "lie to voters" about repealing and replacing ObamaCare. The group claimed Heller is "now with" House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Becca Stanek