In the solo free preliminaries earlier Sunday, French star Virginie Dedieu made a dazzling return to the pool. She leads the solo free competition after the preliminary round and is favoured to win her third world title in the final on Thursday.

How can you have solo synchronized swimming? That sounds a little kinky, doesn't it? I mean, it would be sort of like having solo...


Link: CBC Sports

Concerns, we have a few

Buried in the Great Justice Department Email Dump Raw Story finds this amusing example of Bushie cluelessness:
The communications between Tasia Scolinos, Director of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice, and Catherine J. Martin, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director for Policy and Planning, transpired on Friday, November 17, 2006, twenty days before the dismissals were carried out on December 7....

Less than an hour later, Martin asked Scolinos, "Are you looped in on this? What is your comms plan?"

"Thanks for flagging - we are not looped in - first I have heard of it," Scolinos replied. "Let me call up there and figure out what is happening here and get back to you."

Later that day, at 5:40 PM, Scolinos wrote back seemingly unconcerned with the plan since it was "only six" out of ninety-four US Attorneys being asked to leave.

"It's only six US attorneys (there are 94) and I think most of them will resign quietly - they don't get anything out of making it public they were asked to leave in terms of future job prospects," Scolinos wrote Martin.

Scolinos continued, "I don't see it as being a national story - especially if it phases in over a few months. Any concerns on your end?"

Well, yeah.


You Don't Move

You Don't Move, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Sounds like a good idea.


Funny money's funny, turns out

Making dollar coins the size of a quarter is bad enough. Sure, maybe they're proportionally accurate (they used to be silver dollars and we used to call them wagon wheels, great honking big coins worth a buck, back when a buck was a buck and we used to walk to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways, you kids have it easy, blah blah) but they're stupid. Now it turns out the US Mint is not so swift either, having trouble making the things so all their parts are actually there. Wonkette is all over the story like Lou Dobbs on a Mexican, now reporting...
Money-watchers believe the worst is yet to come. Be on the look out for quarters sporting the face Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington, or $20 bills depicting Billy Dee Williams Carl Weathers as “Action” Jackson.


Link: Wonkette

Remodeling is about finished now

Remodel, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

But the books. Yeah. Barnes&Noble, where the book links link to, has changed its system and all the old links have to be replaced with new ones. Which, I guess, is as good an excuse as any to remodel those too.

As it happens a friend asked me today to suggest some funny books. Given that my definition of "funny" might be somewhat different than (OK, I know this is difficult to believe but just bear with me here) anybody else's, I forwarded a list. So maybe I will use that, or part of that, to start with.

Freako Democrats want to eat your children!

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales declared this morning that he will not resign from his post in the Bush administration. The remarks were delivered in a press conference after Gonzales met privately with various US Attorneys.

"I'm not going to resign, I'm going to stay focused on protecting our kids," Gonzales said, and then pointed to the record of his Justice Department as evidence for why he should keep his job.

Emphasis, by God, mine.

Link: Raw Story

Solid gold

From Crooks and Liars and it's pretty safe to bet, by now, just about everywhere else, here's what Tony Snowjob had to say about "executive priviledge" in 1988:
"Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

"Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

"One gets the impression that Team Clinton values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Clinton will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold — the rule of law."
Ketchup with that, Snowjob?

Just a little advice for the lovelorn here...

...YA YAME public service...although this is really from Wonkette (where it rightfully belongs)...we're just passing it along here in recognition of its critical, time-sensitive nature:

Paul Wolfowitz is "back on the dating scene," reports Wonkette, and...
For everyone who ever wanted to date a war criminal, this is probably your best chance now that Milosevic is dead.

The line forms over there. Way over there.

And the best thing of all is...

To recap, the White House awarded a one-month, $140,000 contract to an individual who never held a federal contract. Two weeks after he got paid, that same contractor used a cashier’s check for exactly that amount to buy a boat for a now-imprisoned congressman at a price that the congressman had pre-negotiated.
(Think Progress)

...if you steal a song, they call that piracy.

More from the alternate universe

Apparently just thinking about getting stuff done qualifies as good news from Iraq these days.
Among the efforts the ambassador has detailed:

--Six new Provincial Reconstruction Teams have gone to work in Baghdad identifying and launching projects at the local level, one team for each of six new Army brigades in the city

--In the violent Sadr City slum: a new electricity distribution system serving 120,000 people plus improved water, sewage and schools -- 25 projects in all launched in the last month

And if that's not exciting enough for ya, here's the best one - recapturing hospitals.
--A renewed push to retake hospitals and hospital warehouses infiltrated or blockaded by militias
(Danger Room)

How's that for progress, Bunky?


Now every teenage boy in the world will be wanting to learn chess.
A 15-year-old Peruvian chess player who didn't come back from a tournament in Argentina has been found - living with a nightclub dancer.

"Strategist" gets a lot of comments from total wackos

“I thought he was fired up,” Charlie Black, a Republican strategist who is close to the White House, said Wednesday. “I was glad to see it. I got a lot of comments from people who said, ‘It’s about time he put his foot down.’ ”

Yeah! they say, that guy's been hopping around on one leg for way too long!

WTF. And another thing. Did you ever stop to think about how that little Alberto guy was once a freakin' judge on the supreme freakin' court of freakin' Texas? It's true, you know. And if that isn't scary just tell me one thing that is. Make my day.


How awesome is this!

A whole new look. Like, totally hot. Or, maybe cool. Whatever. Yet Another Media Empire's world headquarters has also been remodeled: a link is in the sidebar. I figure the longer I keep doing this, the longer it'll be before I have to go dust under the bed. Expect more.

Progress is made

Seattle Stroll, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

So then, having finally managed to recapture my Flickr account from Yahoo! I'm making it my default photo store - store as in place to store things, not place to buy things, although it's possible to download printable images from Flickr albums or even buy prints (at cost) online and, for the record, all my images are licensed for personal or non-commercial use under the terms of Creative Commons (click the button in the sidebar or on each Flickr image page for more info). Henceforward, click on any image or on the tedcompton link to see more.

There are links to still more images at Yet Another Media Empire World Headquarters, which is due to be remodeled soon (woohoo! I'm on a roll) and best-quality-for-printing images will continue to be located at Photoworks (for info inquire via the email link on the blog's profile page).

All of which is part of a major effort to quit reading so much depressing news (let's face it, if you haven't made up your mind one way or another about what's going on by now you're a lost cause) and get out in the sun more come summer. Anyway, there are lots of better blogs listed in the sidebar now, as well as a link to the items ("starred items") I'm reading myself. Which is not to say I'm planning to keep my mouth entirely shut - if you think that, you're nuts.

Also I have some other photo projects in mind for the summer, one of which is to add some pix of local landmarks to Google Earth. And we shall see. Stay tuned.

Think of the omlets

Park District officials are enlisting people to help locate nests of goose eggs as part of an expanded program aimed at downsizing the population of the aggressive park-fouling birds.
(Yahoo! News)

It's true, they do make a mess. The geese, I mean. And I suppose the eggs do too. Back in the day a certain nationally well-known company added a picturesque pond to its brand new Chicago-area office campus and after a few years it was almost impossible to get near the place for the awful smell. I imagine they weren't the only ones.

So eat up, folks. You're not eating eggs, you're saving geese. According to the Humane Society's Diane Webber,
"It's much more humane than rounding up the geese and gassing them."

Snow on the Course

Snow on the Course, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

What the test was all about.

Why is this so funny?

Ukraine navy arrests Belarus rowing team for paddling across border

I don't know. I think it's even funnier than Switzerland invading Lichtenstein.

You've gotta take funny where you can get it these days. I was just reading about the newest gathering storm in Washington, where the DOOFUS says he'll let Rove out of the bunker to talk to Congress as long as it's OK for Rove to lie whenever he wants to, and lots of yipping about who should get to know what - with We the freaking People not even on the list. That's gonna have to change.

Meanwhile, it's get the Empire organized time, a little Spring cleaning in the datastream, and looking for a better way to handle photos. So much power, so little time. Or, well, plenty of time - so little patience, more like it.


I say let the overreaching begin

In a sign of Republican despair, GOP political strategists on Capitol Hill said that it is too late for Gonzales' departure to head off a full-scale Democratic investigation into the motives and timing behind the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

"Democrats smell blood in the water, and (Gonzales') resignation won't stop them," said a well-connected Republican Senate aide. "And on our side, no one's going to defend him. All we can do is warn Democrats against overreaching."
(The Politico)

Spring Arrives

Whatever happened to doors?

War "worth the effort," says Rice

Asks Robert Stein at Connecting.the.Dots:
All our loss of lives and limbs to remove Saddam Hussein from a balcony shooting off a rifle while George W. Bush was behind a podium shooting off his mouth? All the sacrifice of our safety from terror and our standing in the world to get Saddam hiding in a hole instead of living in a palace? All those billions of dollars to get him tried and hanged?

Seems little doubtful there. Me too.

Worth the effort to whom, is what I want to know.


Does anybody on the planet care?

Lieberman won’t rule out GOP-switch, may endorse Republican in 08

Why doesn't he just switch already and get it over with?

Go, Joe.


OK, for those of you who've been looking for red, here's some red.

An essay from the always excellent Sam Smith


...But an actor is a person who learns someone else's lines so convincingly that the audience thinks they are that other person. This has been, since Reagan, the primary goal of our major politicians. All of the current leading presidential candidates are pretending to be people they are not.

To be sure, after Reagan, the country did momentarily slide back into traditional ways with the inalterable George Bush the elder, but with Bill Clinton, politics as fiction became institutionalized.

Read it all here.

The guy with the snow blower

Straight lines, square corners: there's just no art anymore.

And speaking of the merry band in the bunker...

...from Corrente...
But this is Three Stooges territory. Backed into a corner, the boys would hold drinking glasses up to their eyes, because you can’t hit a guy wearing glasses.

Damned if it doesn’t work just the same when you randomly and disastrously start a war. You become unassailable because you’re “a war president.” Your war, no matter how juvenile its rationale, planning, and execution, is by definition too serious to seriously question.

You know that little Alberto guy, he just does whatever he wants.

When asked if Gonzales will serve for the rest of President Bush's term, White House press secretary Tony Snow said, "Well, we hope so."
Oh you bet. They all have their fingers crossed, they do.

Bush has expressed confidence in Gonzales and defended the removal of the prosecutors, but also voiced frustration that lawmakers were not provided straightforward information.
(The whole sorry thing from Yahoo! News)

Big fans of straightforward information they are, in the bunker there.

Well, here's some straightforward information: They are a bunch of lying, cheating, thieving, criminal warmongering fascist assholes.

Don't say you weren't told.


Rush hour.

Chocolate brownies for breakfast: Good. Keywords: Bad.

I hate filing stuff. Keywords suck. Either I make them up as I go along, in which case I wind up with every item having the exact same set of keywords, or I pick from a long list of pre-established keywords, in which case I agonize endlessly and wind up with every item having the exact same set. There is no hope.

I set out to clean up and organize my photo library, so far resulting in trashing vast quantities of really bad pix and one that I really meant to keep. So that was the clean-up part: Not perfect, but very good. Now comes the organizing part, which means...keywords. Bad.

Could YAME acquire a proper photoblog some day? Hey, Google got YouTube, didn't they?

Last stop.

Don't mis this.

From The Aristocrats, the inestimable Sandy Underpants provides a handy guide to blather from the DOOFUSbunker...
to aid in understanding the political conversation emanating from the current Bush administration, simply note that to describe their deeds they do nothing more than add the prefix 'mis' to every applicable word.

Read on...

But in the end, somebody does.

Costs for Lockheed Martin to build its super-secret stealth "Polecat" unmanned aerial vehicle: $27 million

Theoretical market for an unmanned stealthy aircraft like the Polecat: In the billions

Accidentally pushing the self-destruct button, causing the only prototype to spiral to its death in Nevada: PRICELESS

"The crash actually occurred in December, but the company decided to, um, hope nobody ever asked about it." writes Sharon Weinberger in Wired's Danger Room.

What is it with women anyway?

“I think it’s very cool that you could be in a department store and have your friends online at the same time helping you shop. It’s fun,” Ms. Noah said as a virtual navy blouse and white pants appeared in the mirror. She took a few steps back to line up her frame with the clothes on the screen.

But pointing to a friend accompanying her, she said the interactive mirror would not inspire her to trade team shopping for Web critics. “You get more personal attention when you shop with a friend live,” Ms. Noah said.

You were expecting an answer? Oh no. Not here. But team shopping? I don't think I'd buy a TV to watch that.

I'm waiting for competitive napping to catch on.

Until the hard drive goes bad.

A computer tower in polished mahogany, doesn’t come cheap. But for some buyers, the comforting feel of wood, or the way it complements the décor of a home or office, makes the expense worthwhile.

Then you have to saw it in half.

Hey! I think that was the theme for my high school prom!

Citing "hazy memories," the White House on Friday changed key details of its defense in a mushrooming controversy over federal prosecutor firings that may cost Attorney General Alberto Gonzales his job.
(Raw Story)

Or, I don't know, maybe it was "run for your life." Something like that.

Anyway, what do these guys know about hazy memories, I'm asking here. What their problem in the DOOFUSbunker is these days is they just can't keep their lies straight anymore.