Friday News: Domestic Terrorist

CARY INSURRECTIONIST BACK WHERE HE BELONGS, IN FEDERAL CUSTODY: On Jan. 6, 2021, when prosecutors say James Grant led the first assault on the U.S. Capitol, the North Carolina man wore a baseball cap with an insignia that bore a map of his home state, along with these words: “Drink Local.” Last month, Grant did just that. Now he’s going back to jail. On Dec. 7, after a bizarre interaction with Garner police in a restaurant parking lot, the 29-year-old Cary man was charged with driving under the influence. Police say they found an AR-15 rifle and 60 rounds of .233-caliber ammunition in Grant’s car. When police tried to arrest him, according to court records, Grant tried to flee. On Jan 6 2021, Grant fought with officers — injuring two — and was later seen inside at least two private Senate offices, documents show. In many ways this guy is even worse than the California dude who joined the Taliban in Afghanistan pre-9/11, and he deserves just as lengthy a jail term.

SPEAKING OF DOMESTIC TERRORISTS, WILMINGTON MAN ATTACKS TWO FEMALE HOSPITAL WORKERS: A man choked a hospital worker unconscious and tried to snap another employee's neck during a rampage inside a North Carolina emergency room earlier this week, authorities said. Rothwell Jacob Simmons, 24, has been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of assault by strangulation, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Simmons was arrested at New Hanover Regional Medical Center after Tuesday's attack. His bond was set at $7.5 million, news outlets reported. According to WECT-TV, Simmons appeared in court on Wednesday and, when asked if he wanted to hire his own attorney, Simmons told the judge, “I’m not sure man, I don’t know what the hell got into me.” According to an arrest warrant, Simmons threw the first victim on the ground, choking her until she became unconscious. He also tried to snap the second victim’s neck, leaving the woman with neck injuries and contusions as he strangled her, officials said. NHRMC employees are already strained to the breaking point with Covid. They need better protection than this. It would be bad enough if just one woman was attacked; the fact he was able to move on to a second victim and almost kill her is shameful mismanagement.

TILLIS ONCE AGAIN EXPOSES HIS RANK HYPOCRISY: Sen. Thom Tillis threatened Wednesday from the floor of the U.S. Senate to leave Congress if Republicans ever voted to change the filibuster. “The day the Republicans change the filibuster is the day that I resign from the Senate,” Tillis said from the chamber’s podium. Senate rules allow members to debate a piece of legislation for as long as they choose. A filibuster is a political maneuver in which a bill is continually debated as a means to delay or block a vote. It forces the majority party to find 60 votes to approve most legislation in the 100-member Senate. Tillis joined other Republicans in exempting Supreme Court confirmations from the filibuster in 2017, but on Wednesday he defended the filibuster for legislation. “And if you vote to nuke the legislative filibuster, you might as well build a wall straight down this body,” Tillis said. Legislation can be amended or completely wiped away if it is deemed counterproductive, but a Supreme Court confirmation is for life. It's the very last thing that should have been exempted from the filibuster, but thanks to Tillis (and Burr) we've got 3 Trump Justices.

ROE V. WADE TURNS 49 TODAY, AND THE NUT-JOBS ARE OUT IN FORCE: Thousands of protesters are expected to gather in downtown Washington on Friday for the annual March for Life. For 49 consecutive years, antiabortion activists have traveled from all over the country on or around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, determined to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn it. This year, they could finally get what they want. Antiabortion demonstrators will convene on the National Mall less than two months after the high court heard Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case reviewing the constitutionality of a Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks, which could determine the future of Roe. With a 6-to-3 conservative majority, the court has signaled its willingness to weaken or even overturn the 1973 precedent. The justices initially allowed a Texas law prohibiting abortions after about six weeks to stand while a legal challenge worked its way through the courts. In December, the justices said the case could continue only against Texas licensing officials who oversee nurses, physicians and pharmacists — while again leaving the law in effect. If Roe is overturned, abortion will become illegal in 12 states, with more than a dozen others likely to ban or significantly restrict the procedure soon after. Many of those who plan to march Friday are newly optimistic, convinced that a post-Roe era is near. “There is a very big feeling in the pro-life movement and with the young people we work with that something very big is on the horizon,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, a Fredericksburg, Va.-based group. When your "students" group is led by a 35 year-old making a six-figure income, you may have gotten off-track somewhere along the line.

JEFF BEZOS INVESTS HEAVILY IN ANTI-AGING RESEARCH: On January 19, co-founders Rick Klausner and Hans Bishop publicly launched an aging research initiative called Altos Labs, with $3 billion in initial financing from backers including tech investor Yuri Milner and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. This is the latest in a recent surge of investment in ventures seeking to build anti-aging interventions on the back of basic research into epigenetic reprogramming (modifying chemical marks on DNA to turn genes on or off). In December, cryptocurrency company Coinbase’s cofounder Brian Armstrong and venture capitalist Blake Byers founded NewLimit, an aging-focused biotech backed by an initial $105 million investment, with the University of California, San Francisco’s Alex Marson and Stanford’s Mark Davis as advisors. The discovery of the ‘Yamanaka factors’—four transcription factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4), ), proteins that can reprogram a fully mature cell into an embryonic-like state—earned Kyoto University researcher Shinya Yamanaka a share of the Nobel prize in 2012. The finding, described in 2006, transformed stem cell research by providing a new source of cells that resemble embryonic stem cells, which are able to give rise to any type of specialized cell in the body except sex cells. These induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) do not require human embryos for their derivation. But in recent years, Yamanaka factors have also become the focus for another burgeoning area: to set back the clock on aging. Yamanaka’s technique, which can even generate biologically youthful stem cells from centenarian donors, has been extensively studied over the past 15 years. Alexander Meissner of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics says that most iPSC reprogramming comes down to rewriting epigenetic marks—chemical modifications of the genome, such as adding methyl groups to DNA or to the histone proteins that act as packaging for DNA. This process influences which genes are activated and which tend to change as cells age. “You erase all of these signatures that look like aging or any abnormal signatures, and [cells are] being reset essentially to the baseline ‘perfect’ epigenome,” Meissner says. Just don't let the Soulless Minions of Orthodoxy know what you're doing, or they will come in and destroy your research. Okay, that was a really obscure Star Trek reference, so after you do your Wordle of the day, look it up to keep your cells from getting bored.