Are we safe yet, Bunky?

The Transportation Security Administration is trying to find a computer hard drive with Social Security numbers and bank and payroll information for 100,000 employee records. The agency said it realized on Thursday that the drive was missing from a controlled area at its headquarters.
Ya think?

Link: Washington: Computer Hard Drive Missing at Security Agency - New York Times

Conductor Duck

Conductor Duck, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Doublethink at its finest

Cafferty: All these people on the list of the most influential people in the world. The president of the United States isn't there. Here's the question. What does it say about the U.S. when a national news magazine thinks Rosie O'Donnell, Justin Timberlake and the actor who plays Borat are more influential than President Bush?
How about: ...when Rosie, Justin, and Borat are more influential? What does that say, Bozo?

Link: Crooks and Liars » Cafferty: Borat Bumps Bush from TIME’s “Top 100″ List


Guns don't kill people, terrorists do

WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association is urging the Bush administration to withdraw its support of a bill that would prohibit suspected terrorists from buying firearms.
Link: NRA: Don't Ban Gun Sales to Suspects | The Huffington Post

It's just a good day for funny headlines, I guess

Former disgraced White House correspondent Gannon now spokesman for Christian Bible group
Former disgraced White House correspondent? That would be as opposed to the current ones, I guess.

OK, maybe it's not so funny after all.

Link: The Raw Story | Former disgraced White House correspondent Gannon now spokesman for Christian Bible group

Ok so maybe he's not that other guy.

Maybe he's, you know, some other guy. But he's a guy, isn't he? So we got some guy. You can't say we didn't get some guy.

General Caldwell's description of the role of the dead man – particularly that “we know he is responsible for propaganda and ransom videos for Jill Carroll” – would imply that Jubouri was Jill's chief captor, a man known to her as “Abu Nour” and as “Abdullah Rashid.”

Another senior captor that Carroll knew as Abu Rasha, a burly man who played a major role in the logistics of her captivity, also partially fits Caldwell's statement that Jubouri was “responsible for the transportation and movement of Jill Carroll from her various hiding places.”

But Carroll was held by a number of men, and the photo of Jubouri doesn't appear to be either Abu Rasha or Abu Nour.
Link: A Jill Carroll captor killed, says US military | csmonitor.com

Latte Duck

Latte Duck, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

What does Curt Clemens have against stripper poles?

Rapper 50 Cent's 52-room Connecticut estate – once owned by Mike Tyson – is on the market....

“He's put a lot into it, and it's all very tasteful, except the stripper poles,” Curt Clemens Sr., owner of Century 21 Clemens & Sons in Hartford, tells the paper.
Link: 50 Cent Selling 52-Room Connecticut Mansion | 50 Cent : People.com

Orlando senator wants to outlaw wearing pants below waist

Too distracting, he says.

(Image not mine.)

Link: Pull Up Your Britches - Central Florida News 13

Commander Guy wants to rescue the telcos...

...from all sorts of pesky lawsuits arising from alleged violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (for selling their customers out to the Polizei, that would be) which is pretty entertaining right there - but this, Bunky, this is awesome...

The proposal states that “no action shall lie . . . in any court, and no penalty . . . shall be imposed . . . against any person” for giving the government information, including customer records, in connection with alleged intelligence activity the attorney general certifies....
Whoa. Right there. Did you see that? The attorney general freaking certifies?“ Doesn't that make your little heart just thrum with joy?

Maybe there was once a day when the attorney general was the very model of a modern guy-you-can-trust but honey, I want to tell you something: It ain't now.

Link: Bush Wants Phone Firms Immune to Privacy Suits - washingtonpost.com

What, they usually put clothes on their cars?

Australia's worst drought in memory has had many weird side-effects -- but a nude carwash has to be one of the oddest.
Link: The Raw Story | Drought drives Aussies to nude carwash

In passing

In passing, originally uploaded by tedcompton.


Bloom, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Warum nicht?

Thinking about learning German?

This is the place.

Well, duh, if you can't hold on to them...

Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops
...no wonder they don't work.

Well, no, it's not like that, explains the Times. The real reason is the kids know more about the computers than the teachers do.

Link: Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops - New York Times

You eat that stuff it's your problem, says judge

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a doctor who accused KFC of not telling customers that it used trans fats to fry its chicken....

“While it might be appropriate for this court to find, as a matter of law, that the consumption of fat -- including trans fat -- is indeed within the reasonable expectations of the consumers of fried chicken and french fries prepared in fast food kitchens, it is not necessary for me to reach that question,” Robertson wrote.

And in response to Hoyte's claim that customers have a growing understanding of the dangers of trans fats, Robertson wrote: “If consumers are increasingly aware of trans fat, where do they expect to find it if not in fast food restaurants?”
Anyway, who expects food to be “good” any more?

Link: Sarcastically, judge tosses KFC trans fat lawsuit - CNN.com


“Contractors” reported threatening independent action in Iraq

After enduring three days of rocket attacks on the Green Zone, Slogger sources report that contractors billeted inside the Zone may take matters into their own hands if the U.S. Army does not do something to better secure the area.
Virtually unremarked by US press, Baghdad's “secure” Green Zone has been under rocket attack for three days, IraqSlogger says.

A security company approached the US military on Thursday to discuss the matter, and was told that the resources are not available to prevent the attacks. The contractor reportedly offered to use his men to begin undertaking countermeasures if the military was unable to provide security, but the idea was not an item of serious discussion.
The security company is presumably in US employ.

Link: IraqSlogger: Green Zone Under Fire

New to the Empire work avoidance list: an osprey nest

Listed under “osprey.” With an “o.”

So if you get tired of watching the cheese age you can watch the ospreys. Aging. Courtesy of YAME's Seattle bureau.

First Commander Guy comic hits the stands

Our bizarre relationship
Link: The Aristocrats: Our bizarre relationship

Does he say what I think he says?

On the video clip?

“If you're somebody that said to yourself 'I need a massage, I need to call an independent sub-contractor'...”
Well hell yeah. Doesn't everybody say that?

Link: The Raw Story | ABC ID's 1000+ names from 'DC madam' list

Commander Guy shut out...

...fails to make cut for Time's list of “100 most influential people in the world.”

NEW YORK (AP) - Heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio and envelope-pushers Rosie O'Donnell and Sacha Baron Cohen are among the entertainment newsmakers on Time magazine's list of 100 people who shape the world.

The list of 100 most influential, on newsstands Friday, also includes Queen Elizabeth II, presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, YouTube founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, director Martin Scorsese and model Kate Moss. It does not include President Bush.
Of course the Real World™ might have something to say about this, but we don't care.

Link: My Way News - Leo, Rosie Make Time's Most Influential

Trucker Duck

Trucker Duck, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Some days are better than others

Frankly, we have no idea

Caldwell said the U.S. does not have the bodies of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State of Iraq, or Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, and doesn't know of “anybody that does.”
This Caldwell guy might be a Major General, but we're not sure.

Link: U.S.: Insurgent figure killed in Iraq - Boston.com

Yeah, what's wrong with a little violence anyway?

The President earlier today defined success in Iraq. He said, “Success is not, no violence. There are parts of our country that, as you know, have a certain level of violence to it. But success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives, and that's what we're trying to achieve.”
Watch the film for a bonus.

Link: The Raw Story | Bush chuckles at Iraq success: 'Either we'll succeed, or we won't succeed'

He doesn't want to be in the bunker - he wants to be in a comic book

The man who last year proclaimed “I’m the decider,’’ in response to a question about whether he would fire Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary, came up with this latest moniker in explaining why he vetoed an Iraq war spending bill that dictated a timeline for troops to withdraw from Iraq.

”The question is, ‘Who ought to make that decision, the Congress or the commanders?,’’ Mr. Bush said. “As you know, my position is clear – I’m the commander guy.”
Link: Bush: Im the Commander Guy - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog

Georgia R has no clue but thinks maybe an idea could work

Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican who has supported Bush's war strategy even as the public has turned against it, said, “The marketplace has become ripe for a new idea.”
Link: Some Republicans split with Bush on the war - Los Angeles Times

Cash logistics!

The FBI and AT Systems Inc., which describes itself as a cash logistics company, did not immediately return calls seeking further detail.
Yeah! I love it! Cash logistics is what I'm all about. Like, Dude, don't cash that check until Friday because I'm having a little cash logistics problem this week.

Link: Police: $1M Stolen From Armored Truck

Thanks, LATimes, but aren't you leaving something out here?

Also, police uncovered two caches of weapons in east Baghdad, including 400 pounds of C-4 explosive, 85 sets of body armor, nine pairs of night-vision goggles, and 120 Iranian-made assault rifles.
Link: 3,700 U.S. troops arrive in Baghdad - Los Angeles Times


Another bad day in the bunker

And if Bush had even a rudimentary sense of irony, he’d see the absurdity of announcing “mission accomplished” and the end of major military operations in Iraq to vetoing a bill exactly four years later because it demands that the mission be accomplished or get out of al-Dodge.
Click the link, read the rest.

Link: Welcome to Pottersville: The Twilight of the Gods Zone

If people like this are running the country it's no freakin' wonder we're in trouble

Today on the House floor, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) compared the war in Iraq to a Major League Baseball feud, asking fellow members of Congress to “Imagine my beloved St. Louis Cardinals are playing the much despised Chicago Cubs.”
Link: Think Progress » Rep. Shimkus: Iraq War Is Like ‘My Beloved St. Louis Cardinals’ Facing ‘The Cubbies’


Afternoon, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Way to go, Onion News Network

Report: 70 Percent Of All Praise Sarcastic


Roadside, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Don't miss this

This can't be real...
Just follow the links.

Link: Mixter's Mix: Oh. My. Lord.


Incompetence my Sweet Aunt Fanny. They do this on purpose.
“Incompetent” just doesn't cut it any more.

Link: NOLa: “Mission Accomplished,” Bush League Style | CorrenteWire

Like Vegas only backward

I figured it was time to do something about that big bowl of coins on my chest of drawers so I took it to coin counting machine. The machine takes 9 percent; certain persons of my acquaintance would be appalled. It's like Vegas only backward: you put the coins in, the teller gives you money, but hey, it makes that same great sound. And I am easily amused.

Main Street

Main Street, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Good news! It's only mildly toxic!

And you probably didn't eat much of it anyway. I mean, you didn't eat anywhere near 2.5 million chickens, did you?

At the center of the problem are pet foods spiked with melamine, a mildly toxic chemical that can make food appear to have more protein than it does. Most of the food went to pets, but scraps were sold in February to the Indiana poultry producer, officials said. The contaminated material may have made up about 5 percent of the chickens' total food supply.

That small fraction, and the fact that people, unlike pets, do not eat the same thing day after day, suggests that consumers who ate contaminated pork or chicken would probably have ingested extremely small doses of melamine, well below the threshold for causing health effects, officials said. Experts conceded, however, that they know little about how the toxin interacts with other compounds in food.
Get a grip, dude - this is 21st Century America and “mildly toxic” is the new food standard.

And try not to get old. Nostalgia is a bitch.

Link: Millions Of Chickens Fed Tainted Pet Food - washingtonpost.com

Oh yeah...that war too

American officials say it will take at least a few years before most of the Afghan forces become more ready and reliable, and perhaps a decade before they are capable of independent operations. But they also say that the resources and plans are now in place to make such ambitions possible.

These ambitions are important because American military officials say a principal element of any Western exit strategy from Afghanistan will be to create competent national security forces. Such forces are regarded as necessary to contain, and eventually defeat, the Taliban insurgency that expanded in 2006....
A few more billion, another decade...you'll hardly notice, Bunky.

Link: As Funding Increases, Afghan Forces Range From Ragtag to Ready - New York Times

Speaking of a war czar, looks like the Iraqis already have one

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's prime minister has created an entity within his government that U.S. and Iraqi military officials say is being used as a smokescreen to hide an extreme Shiite agenda that is worsening the country's sectarian divide.The Office of the Commander in Chief has the power to overrule other government ministries, according to U.S. military and intelligence sources....

According to a U.S. intelligence source, the Office is “ensuring the emplacement of commanders it favors and can control, regardless of what the ministries want.”...

A senior U.S. military official cited several cases in Baghdad in which Iraqi commanders considered capable by the United States were detained or forced out of their positions after cracking down on Shiite militias.

Among the cases, an Iraqi colonel in Baghdad, who had made strides in controlling the Shiite Mehdi militia, was removed from his job, the U.S. military official said.
Maybe the DOOFUS is just jealous, ya think?

Link: Shadowy Iraq office accused of sectarian agenda - CNN.com

And the Russians, those pikers, only had one

WASHINGTON -- Bowing to growing nationwide concern, the Food and Drug Administration named a food safety “czar” Tuesday and pledged to develop “a visionary strategy for food safety and defense” that takes into account increasing U.S. dependence on food imports.
I've lost count of how many “czars” we have now - one for just about everything, whatever. Call me crazy but I think we're about due for a superczar. I mean, hey, “czar” is beginning to sound, well, just common, isn't it?

Link: Nation & World | Can new food safety czar mend “broken” system? | Seattle Times Newspaper


Why I decline to be governor of New Jersey

The motorcade shed about two cars before arriving about 2:45 p.m. at Drumthwacket, the official residence for New Jersey’s governor...
Drumthwacket? No way.

Link: Corzine Leaves Hospital After Accident - New York Times

Never mind dark...

...how about deserted?

Rats the size of dogs which can even eat through concrete are threatening to plunge parts of Montenegro into darkness.
I'd be getting out of town.

Link: Ananova - Dog-size rats take over power station


Yellow, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Screw suggestion, let's make it a law

Lynn writes:
I’d like to put this in the suggestion box:

Homeland Security should be run by librarians.

When was the last time you tried to get a library card? In my experience, it’s harder to get a library card than it is to get an ID. And it takes way more than an ID to get a library card. Besides basic security, they would enforce things like:

Turn off your cell phones in quiet areas and respect other people’s serenity.
Read more.
Be respectful of borrowed property.
Participate in your community.

(It’s cheaper than filling in tunnels….)

Isn’t it nice when everyone plays along?
It is indeed. And nobody sneaks one past a librarian, take my word. More than one librarian over the years has made me prove I know my own name. Seriously. A lot of them seem to think it must be Theodore. It's not. (And no, Senator, it's not Edward either. It's just Ted.)

Librarians brook no nonsense. Librarians rule!

So yeah. Let's put librarians in charge of Homeland Security - and my college's Alumni Association in charge of finding Bin Laden. They'd have him tracked down by the end of the week. I'm not kidding.

Take my word.

Whatever these things are, here they are

Whatever, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

It's just nice to see some color for a change.

Palfrey for War Czar

Brian Ross of ABC News reported Monday morning on the mounting scandal from the records of the so-called “DC madam.” Ross said many prominent DC figures can be found on the list of clients for the escort service, which has emerged in the course of the trial of its operator, Deborah Jeane Palfrey.

“It's a long list, we've been going through the phone records for the last four years provided for us by Jean Palfrey,” Ross reported on Monday morning. “There are some very prominent people, lobbyists, lawyers, members of the military, other people in the Bush administration.”
Hey, Dude. If that Hadley guy is serious about wanting somebody who can make things happen in Washington, she's gotta be his gal.

Link: The Raw Story | ABC: More Bush Administration officials on 'DC madam' list

This morning's best headline

rush fools in where angels fear to tread
Link: skippy the bush kangaroo: rush fools in where angels fear to tread

The DOOFUS clarifies the China problem

“As I reminded the people around the conference table today, the United States could shut down our economy and emit no greenhouse gases, and all it would take is for China in about 18 months to produce as much as we had been producing to make up the difference about what we reduced our greenhouse gases to.”
Sounds serious.

Link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Condi won’t be rude. She’s not a rude person.

Feeling war-deprived this morning, Bunky?

Well you're in luck. There's a whole lot of warring going on at the New York Times. In addition to the Israeli war with Lebanon and the ever-present US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq featured on the web front pages of most major newspapers this morning (but not all, notable exceptions being the Miami Herald and the San Francisco Chronicle), the New York Times features a War on E. Coli, a War on Galápagos Island Goats, and a War of the Sexes (among ducks, quack quack).


Forget it, Dude...no thanks

I just opened a new stack of Sony CDs and noticed on the label an ad for “Casino Royale” and the come-on: “Instantly win a Bond adventure in the Bahamas.”

Yeah, right. I've seen that movie. No way do I want a vacation like that. I'm not playing and that's an end to it.


Opus, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Ya don't say

NEW ORLEANS - When the Army Corps of Engineers solicited bids for drainage pumps for New Orleans, it copied the specifications - typos and all - from the catalog of the manufacturer that ultimately won the $32 million contract, a review of documents by The Associated Press found....

While it may not be a violation of federal regulations to adopt a company’s technical specifications, it is frowned on, especially for large jobs like the MWI contract, because it could give the impression the job was rigged for the benefit of a certain company, contractors familiar with Corps practices say.
Link: Army Corps of Engineer is asked to explain award of New Orleans pump contract - U.S./ South Region - BostonHerald.com

I guess that's not the DOOFUS, huh?

“What we need,” he said in a recent interview, “is someone with a lot of stature within the government who can make things happen.”
“He” is Stephen J. Hadley, the national bunker security advisor, and what he's describing is the job description for the position of war czar (or as Hadley modestly puts it, the “implementation and execution manager”) which is available, Bunky, if you think you can make things happen (although what, exactly, they mean by “execution” is a little bit unclear). Hadley, apparently, is not feeling up to the job himself and then there's that “stature” thing to worry about, of course. None of the guys who got us into this mess have much stature left so a pinch warmonger is what they need, it seems.

What we really ought to do is send in a whole new team.

Link: Quiet Bush Aide Seeks Iraq Czar, Creating a Stir - New York Times

Where'd I put those boots?

Boots, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

We're lost, Bunky...I tell you, we're lost

“The idea that somehow 10 interceptors and a few radars in Eastern Europe are going to threaten the Soviet strategic deterrent is purely ludicrous, and everybody knows it,” Ms. Rice said before a meeting of NATO foreign ministers expected to focus on the missile-defense dispute.
Will somebody please point out to “Russia expert” and US Secretary of freakin' State Condoleeza Rice the Soviets went out of business...what, 20 years ago?

Link: Mike the Mad Biologist

Who are these “rich” and what are they doing on the table?

Edwards puts taxes for rich on the table
Link: Edwards puts taxes for rich on the table - Los Angeles Times


“Good morning, this is Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army, retired....

”To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is 'absent without leave.'“
Link: The Raw Story | Retired Lt. General declares Bush 'seems to have gone AWOL'

A Sign and the Wire

Sign and the Wire, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Meet the minsode

The question probably never occurred to viewers in the 1970s and 1980s, but suddenly it is highly relevant: exactly how much worthwhile entertainment content was there in shows like “Charlie’s Angels,” “T. J. Hooker,” and “Starsky and Hutch”?

The Sony Corporation and its production studio, Sony Pictures Television, which controls the rights to those and many other relics of a distant era of television, have come up with an answer to that question: three and a half to five minutes.
So Sony is condensing its old shows into under-six-minute “minisodes” for viewing on the net.

Sony is even making a mini-version of “Ricki Lake,” one of its syndicated talk shows. “It’s great,” Mr. Mosko said. “The people get introduced, there’s a big fight, then they come together, and cry and hug. You get everything in five minutes.”
Well. If they could figure out how to do the same thing to political campaigns, I'd be all for that.

Link: Coming Online Soon: The Five-Minute ‘Charlie’s Angels’ - New York Times


2007-04-29_88t, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

It won't hurt you unless...

...well, unless we find out it does, this entertaining FDA/USDA “joint update” makes clear - although perhaps not really entirely clear:

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention systems would have limited ability to detect subtle problems due to melamine and melamine-related compounds, no problems have been detected to date.
Problems, you say? Oh yeah. It's the story about the adulterated pet food again, but this time NEW! and IMPROVED! Turns out some of the screwed-up pet food was fed to other animals - like just about every kind, just about everywhere - through a process called “salvaging,” which means feeding garbage to the pigs. And cows. And fish. And so forth. In this case, for quite a while - since, oh, August of last year, or so.

The industrial chemical melamine has now been discovered in multiple high-protein food additives — wheat, corn and rice gluten — from multiple Chinese manufacturers, leading industry experts to conclude that not only was the contamination intentional, but that such “economic adulteration” is disturbingly widespread, at least in China.
“Economic adulteration,” don't that sound sweet? Just a little dirty money, is all. Adding the chemicals games the testing system, allowing inferior product to command a premium price.

And who knows? Maybe it won't hurt you, bunky, although the FDA/USDA seems pretty anxious to cover it's joint ass.

Link: Joint Update: FDA/USDA Update on Tainted Animal Feed
Link: HorsesAss.Org» Blog Archive » You are what you eat: is “salvage” pet food feeding cows to cows?
And thanks to: skippy

Not content with history, Bushies try to re-write dictionary

BLITZER: But did it represent an imminent threat, the fact that he was violating the oil-for-food?

RICE: The question with imminence is, are you in a situation whether you’re better to act now, or are you going to be in a worse situation later? That’s the question that you have to ask in policy.

(And along the same lines on ABC: “George, the question of imminence isn’t whether or not somebody is going to strike tomorrow.”)
Link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: I think it’s a complete misreading of how, certainly, I read the slam dunk comment


But Bunky...he only did it for the pizza!

ROSS: Well, David, I talked to him one day before he resigned and told him that we had found his name and personal phone number on a list of clients of the so-called DC Madam’s escort service in Washington. And what he told me was that he in fact had been a customer of the service, but that he had not had sex. He had had what he called gals come over to his condo to give him a massage. He claimed there was no sex but that he was stunned by the fact that we were aware he was a client and that was his conversation. I asked him if he knew any of the young women, their names. He said he didn’t remember them at all. He said it was like ordering pizza.
Link: Think Progress » ABC’s Ross: DC Madam’s List Includes White House & Pentagon Officials, Prominent Lawyers

Spring Along the Fence

Spring Along the Fence, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Must keep fighting in Iraq because we're fighting in Iraq, McCain says

Or the terrorists will win.

“We cannot declare – we cannot declare – this war lost when young Americans are fighting and sacrificing over there,’’ he said at a rally outside the Elko County Court House. ”And if you declare this war lost, then who won? Who won? Al-Qaeda? Are we ready to acknowledge that Al Qaeda has won the war in Iraq? I don’t think so.’’
Link: McCain on Reids Lost War - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog

And in a few years it'll look like that old DeSoto my dad had, the one with the big tail fins

WHEN I went to collect my newly minted American passport, I discovered that it came with a radically altered design that included sheaves of wheat, the rather large head of a bald eagle plus the flag wrapped around my picture. And that was just one page....

“It is like being given a coloring book that your brother already colored in,” said Michael Bierut, of the design firm Pentagram in New York City.
Link: Passport - United States Department of State - Travel - New York Times