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Talking Points Memo


  • Originally published 07/19/2013

    Amazon’s Bezos Confirms Recovery Of Apollo 11 Engine From Ocean Floor

    Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced in March that his research team, Bezos Expeditions, successfully recovered some of the remains of the F-1 engines that powered the Saturn V rocket, the workhorse of the Apollo lunar missions in the 1960s and 1970s.While the find was extraordinary, it wasn't immediately clear which Apollo missions the engines fueled. On Friday, however, Bezos confirmed that his team had indeed found an engine that propelled the historic Apollo 11 mission to the moon."Today, I’m thrilled to share some exciting news," Bezos wrote on his blog. "One of the conservators who was scanning the objects with a black light and a special lens filter has made a breakthrough discovery – “2044” – stenciled in black paint on the side of one of the massive thrust chambers. 2044 is the Rocketdyne serial number that correlates to NASA number 6044, which is the serial number for F-1 Engine #5 from Apollo 11. The intrepid conservator kept digging for more evidence, and after removing more corrosion at the base of the same thrust chamber, he found it – "Unit No 2044" – stamped into the metal surface."...

  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    Va. GOP nominee: Three-fifths clause "anti-slavery"

    The Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia has called the Constitution’s original clause to count blacks as three-fifths of a person an “anti-slavery amendment.”In an April 28, 2011 statement while he was a Senate candidate, conservative minister and lawyer E.W. Jackson held up the three-fifths clause as an “anti-slavery” measure. The context of his statement was to attack President Obama after a pastor at a church service he attended referred to the three-fifths clause as a historical marker of racism.“Rev. [Charles Wallace] Smith must not have understood the 3/5ths clause was an anti-slavery amendment. Its purpose was to limit the voting power of slave holding states,” Jackson, an African-American, said in his statement....The clause was demanded by Southern proponents of slavery as a way of enhancing their congressional representation. They wanted slaves to be counted as full persons but settled on three-fifths. People of African descent would have had no real rights either way. The inclusion of the clause greatly enhanced the South’s political power and made it harder to abolish slavery. The clause was effectively eliminated after the Civil War by the Thirteenth Amendment....