To work

Salute, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Might be a slow weekend blogwise, because it'll likely be a busy weenend workwise, although there might be time for a little break, photowise.


Well there ya' go

I received an email before the news conference from as rock-ribbed a Republican as you can find...
relates Peggy Noonan in a Wall Street Journal op-ed today...

a Georgia woman (middle-aged, entrepreneurial)....
Oh yeah, honey, that's a Republican all right. There ya' go.

Link: Nooners joins the Class of 2007 | Corrente

What's Ken Starr doing these days?

GOP Pundit Outed In DC Madam Scandal
Link: Crooks and Liars » GOP Pundit Outed In DC Madam Scandal

I was never a fan of the band...

...but even so, this sounds a little drastic to me.

'N Sync creator faces 130 years in jail
(Although the penalty is for bank fraud, not musical fraud, so that's OK then, I guess.)

Link: The Raw Story | A rational voice - Alternative news

Some almost totally pregnant reporting from the NYTimes

...the Democratic-controlled House responded by voting almost totally along party lines...
The almost totally party line house vote was 223-201.

Link: A Firm Bush Tells Congress Not to Dictate War Policy - New York Times

The excuse that never fails

“It's not us,” she said. “It's the whole system...”
She is Iman Nazeeri-Simmons, administrative director at San Francisco General hospital, and it is $12,000 bill for patching up a broken rib.

Link: The Lantern Brigade: Healthcare Crisis, BIG TIME!


Duck on truck

Duck on truck, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Republicans just need a great big hug, is all

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), approached by a group of reporters outside the lunch, offered an unexpected defense. “All of us have to look at it and say that we could be next,” he said in answer to a Vitter question. “We all think that we're not vulnerable to something like that happening, but the fact is this can be a very lonely and isolating place.”
Link: Dana Milbank - In Whole or in Part, a Missing Vitter - washingtonpost.com

Maybe this is what was giving Chertoff the tummyache

[Neocon nutjob William] Kristol responded, “I think the president's going to have to take military action there over the next few weeks or months. ... Bush has to disrupt that sanctuary.”

“I think, frankly, we won't even tell Musharraf,” Kirstol continued. “We'll do what we have to do in Western Pakistan and Musharraf can say, 'Hey, they didn't tell me.'”
Link: The Raw Story | Neocon Bill Kristol expects Bush to attack Pakistan

Dude, wait till they see the trash cans

Residents of Oregon town say shape of traffic posts is offensive
Link: Residents of Oregon town say shape of traffic posts is offensive | KOMO-TV - Seattle, Washington | Local & Regional


President Bush, defending his troop surge in Iraq, insisted Thursday that the insurgents attacking US troops in Iraq “are the same ones who attacked us on Sept. 11.”...

“The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq are the ones who attacked us on Sept. 11,” Bush said.
Run, Bunky. Run.

Link: The Raw Story | Bush: Insurgents in Iraq same as 9/11 attackers

July in the sky

July in the sky, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Opportunities gone, and not for good

The research at U.P.S. is paying off. Last year, it cut 28 million miles from truck routes — saving roughly three million gallons of fuel — in good part by mapping routes that minimize left turns. This year, U.P.S. began offering customers a self-service system for redirecting packages that are en route.
It's trite to say this anymore, but if we'd spent the trillion bucks we're spending in Iraq on reducing our need for oil instead made a lot more progress toward a secure and peaceful future for ourselves, and the world, than we've made - or will ever make - by dropping bombs.

Link: Still Brown, but Going High Tech - New York Times

Good news! It's not all China's fault!

Black pepper with salmonella from India. Crabmeat from Mexico that is too filthy to eat. Candy from Denmark that is mislabeled....
Link: China Not Sole Source of Dubious Food - New York Times

Even the stuff that's nailed down is starting to disappear

Guards staged one of the largest bank robberies in Iraqi history, making off with a stunning $282 million dollars in cash from a private bank in central Baghdad, Aswat al-Iraq reports in Arabic.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an Interior Ministry source told Aswat al-Iraq that, “Three guards working for the Dar al-Salam Bank located on Sa'adoun Street in central Baghdad were able to attack the bank . . . stealing a sum of up to $282 million dollars, and fled in an unknown direction after implementing the operation.”
Link: IraqSlogger: Massive Bank Heist in Central Baghdad

And in other news...

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Detailed schematics of a military detainee holding facility in southern Iraq. Geographical surveys and aerial photographs of two military airfields outside Baghdad. Plans for a new fuel farm at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

The military calls it “need-to-know” information that would pose a direct threat to U.S. troops if it were to fall into the hands of terrorists. It's material so sensitive that officials refused to release the documents when asked.

But it's already out there, posted carelessly to file servers by government agencies and contractors, accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
Link: My Way News - Military Files Left Unprotected Online


Is this a great country or what?

ROSWELL, Ga. — Richard Thorne grins as he waves his hand under a toilet paper dispenser in a women's restroom. The machine spits five sheets of tissue into his grasp.
Richard Thorne can use the women's restroom.

Also, he can just wave his hand and some machine spits toilet paper. I mean, how freakin' awesome is that?

And best, oh best, of all:

Americans typically use twice as much toilet paper as Europeans — as much as an arm's length each pull, Thorne says. The company [Kimberly-Clark] decided the best length is about 20 inches — or precisely five standard toilet paper squares, though the machine can also be adjusted to churn out 16 inches or 24 inches, depending on the demand.
Five squares! I mean, you can't beat that.

Link: FOXNews.com - Kimberly-Clark Rolls Out First Automatic Toilet Paper Dispenser - Business And Money | Business News | Financial News

Shell games

How long do they think they can keep snookering us? Even at carnivals, they sometimes give the suckers an even break.
Go read.

Link: Connecting.the.Dots: Out-of-Iraq Shell Games

A heap of bikes

A heap of bikes, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Well, nothing new about mentally incompetent

At the Pentagon’s request, Senate defense authorizers tucked deep within a defense bill a repeal of the department’s restriction on granting security clearances to ex-convicts, drug addicts and the mentally incompetent.

Link: spiiderweb™: Ex- convicts and addicts may get DoD clearance
I mean, I got one many years ago. Case closed.

But ex-convicts?

...recent changes [reported the NYTimes in 2006] have restored voting rights to more than 600,000 individuals, the report said. But because the country’s prison population has continued to rise, a record number of Americans, 5.3 million, are still denied the vote because of criminal records...
So they can get clearances but not vote.

Well, you've got to know who you can trust these days. And somehow I'm thinking that's nobody in DC.

Who'da thunk, it wasn't Dewey after all

Never mind. It's a geezer joke.

But this isn't. The New York Times yesterday earned half a Too Late Award™ with this overpoweringly rancid headline:

White House Is Accused of Putting Politics Over Science
Who'da thunk. (And thanks to Shakesville for pointing it out.)

The award is shared by White House accuser (that poor house sure takes a beating, doesn't it?) Richard H. Carmona, a former surgeon general in Commander Guy's regime, who now complains to a Congressional committee...

...top officials in the Bush administration repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations....

And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to the Kennedy family.

“I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.
Uh huh. Carmona responded to this political pressure by keeping his mouth shut and staying in his job for four freaking years. And now he wants to drop the dime.

Sorry, Carmona, the price has gone up. You're too late.

Link: White House Is Accused of Putting Politics Over Science - New York Times


Speaking of public education...

...(wasn't I speaking of public education just a while ago?)...

As a former public school teacher in Washington, I heard this cliche from countless bureaucrats. It was code for “Stop whining about ancient textbooks and prehistoric classroom materials, because there is no money.” Imagine my shock when the city announced it would be spending more than $500 million on a new baseball stadium.
Link: Political Affairs Magazine - The Doming of America

The perfect coda to John McCain

Poor old John McCain. Trailing everybody, not making any money. And now his people are fleeing like rats.

Oh well.
Link: excuse the mess... that was just my head: “Straight Talk Express” suffers more flats.


Unbrella, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Walls, windows next

Harper principal shown the door
OK. Cheap shot. Sorry.

Generally, I'm in favor of public education. In fact, generally is an understatement. For all kinds of reasons, blah, blah. But the public schools do need to be fixed. For all kinds of reasons. Blah, blah.

Still. I saw a young woman today add 1.04 and 1.50 by first writing the numbers down...

...and then reaching for a calculator.

And coming up with 2.50.

So, like I said.

Link: Harper principal shown the door :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Education

Forget about January 20, 2002...there's nothing there

I don't know about the other ones, but if you're willing to invest a whole lot of time in pursuit of a little titillation, Jeane Palfrey's telephone records are here.

And speaking of cheap titillation - or, at least, being easily amused - I'm understanding CNN is all over “fact checking” Michael Moore's movie, “Sicko,” and has come up with the revelation “free health care” is not free, it's paid for by taxes. Just try to imagine my astonishment. All this time, I thought it grew on trees. Like spaghetti.

And this story, also from CNN:

Our team investigated some of the claims put forth in his film. We found that his numbers were mostly right, but his arguments could use a little more context.
Context? Dude. Let's get real. The health care industry - that would be the insurance companies, the HMO's, the AMA, and Big Pharma, et. al. - have a mega-freaking-bazillion-dollar advertising and PR budget and own half of Congress - at least - and have been busily providing us with “context” for decades. They do not rely on the court stenographers at CNN or anywhere else to get their message out, they just buy what they want. With your money. Expensive health care isn't free either, let's remember that. Gotta pay for all those ads somehow.

Says the above-linked CNN piece:

“Overhead for most private health insurance plans range between 10 percent to 30 percent,” says Deloitte health-care analyst Paul Keckley. Overhead includes profit and administrative costs.

“Compare that to Medicare, which only has an overhead rate of 1 percent. Medicare is an extremely efficient health-care delivery system,” says Mark Meaney, a health-care ethicist for the National Institute for Patient Rights.
But Medicare just doesn't have enough context, I guess.


Quelle surprise

Antidepressants most-prescribed drugs in the U.S.
Link: CDC: Antidepressants most prescribed drugs in U.S. - CNN.com

How do they do it?

More hot news from Faux

WASHINGTON — President Bush is not contemplating withdrawing forces from Iraq now...
Sorta takes your breath away, doesn't it?

Link: FOXNews.com - White House: Bush Not Bringing U.S. Troops Home From Iraq Now - Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum

Faux News says it's not a bunch of morons

And in other news...

NEW YORK — Miss New Jersey says she's doing nothing illegal in the photos sent by someone trying to blackmail her into giving up her crown.
Link: FOXNews.com - Miss New Jersey Amy Polumbo Says She's Doing Nothing Illegal in Blackmail Photos - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment

So he's not only the judge and jury now, he's, well, Commander Guy

Today, White House counsel Fred Fielding wrote Patrick Fitzgerald in an effort to clear this [the business about the commutation thing] up. When the president said “supervised release,” he meant it, no matter if that clashes with the law. The president's commutation power would “unmistakably govern,” Fielding wrote.
(Emphasis mine.)
Link: TPMmuckraker July 9, 2007 1:32 PM

Book Mill

Book Mill, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

File under When Pigs Fly

Conyers emphasized that his committee is continuing to negotiate with the White House, and told Stephanopoulos, “We're hoping that as the cries for Cheney and Bush now reach 46% and 58%, respectively, for impeachment, that we could begin to become a little bit more cooperative, if not even amicable in trying to get to the truth of these matters.”
Link: The Raw Story | Rep. Conyers predicts Bush cooperation as impeachment support grows

That was yesterday. Today:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush invoked executive privilege Monday to deny requests by Congress for testimony from two former aides about the firings of federal prosecutors.
Link: Bush Denies Congress Access to Aides - New York Times

Doesn't sound too cooperative to me.

Impeach the bums.

Gradually cut and slowly run, would this be?

White House Debate Rises on Iraq Pullback - New York Times:
inside the administration, debate is intensifying over whether Mr. Bush should try to prevent more defections by announcing his intention to begin a gradual withdrawal of American troops from the high-casualty neighborhoods of Baghdad and other cities.
Well. I never bought in to the "cut and run" talking point to begin with so this doesn't mean a whole lot to me, although snip and scamper would be the wiser choice, IMHO. Pulling out of Iraq right now will leave a horrible mess behind and we will have much to atone for, we will be paying for Republican boneheadedness for a long, long time, but staying longer will just make things worse and run up the bill.

And anyway we all know what "gradual withdrawal" means: stall, and let the next president take the heat.

Almost missed this one

Daily Herald - Fires break out in county:
According to the Orem police department, there was a fire about 3 p.m. in Orem that was put out with a garden house before emergency personnel reached the scene.
Pretty neat trick, with the garden house. And I only learned of it while looking into this story from the BBC.

BBC NEWS | Americas | US woman arrested over dry lawn

A 70-year-old US woman has been left bruised and bloody after an unexpected clash with police who came to caution her for not watering her lawn....

The officer had judged that Ms Perry's "sadly neglected and dying landscape" breached an Orem city guideline and was attempting to issue a formal caution when the 70-year-old was injured.
Northern Utah, from what I understand (here's a podcast report from the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City) is undergoing a pretty severe dry spell these days, so exactly why they're so adamant about lawn-watering is a bit unclear. Of course, why people are so adamant about lawns is unclear to me, always has been, maybe because I spent so much time mowing them when I was a kid I came to wonder why people would want them to begin with.



Shade, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Of course...

Nixon expressed concern that Thompson was not “very smart.”

“Not extremely so,” Buzhardt agreed.

“But he's friendly,” Nixon said.

“But he's friendly,” Buzhardt agreed. “We are hoping, though, to work with Thompson and prepare him, if Dean does appear next week, to do a very thorough cross-examination.”

Five days later, Buzhardt reported to Nixon that he had primed Thompson for the Dean cross-examination.

“I found Thompson most cooperative, feeling more Republican every day,” Buzhardt said. “Uh, perfectly prepared to assist in really doing a cross-examination.”

Later in the same conversation, Buzhardt said Thompson was “willing to go, you know, pretty much the distance now. And he said he realized his responsibility was going to have be as a Republican increasingly.”
...the people who want to vote for Thompson won't care a bit about any of this - maybe even view it as a plus - and the people who do care wouldn't vote for Thompson anyway.

So what else is new, please?

Link: Fred Thompson aided Nixon on Watergate - Yahoo! News

Too bad, too late

“I tried to avoid this war,” Powell told the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, reports Sarah Baxter in the Sunday Times.
Link: The Raw Story | Powell: 'I tried to avoid this war'

How about a trying week for the guy who lives in it?

It could be a trying week for the White House.
Link: KWTX - HomePage

No kidding

No kidding, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

But doesn't want it blabbed all over the net

Pretty funny


“Honk if you believe Anita now.”
From Ellen Goodman, courtesy of Avedon Carol.

Link: The Sideshow July 2007 Archive

Oh no!

Bush fatigue too! (Just a few posts down, it's “Cheney fatigue.”)

“Bush fatigue has set in,” declares one plugged-in GOP activist.
So sorry, GOP.

But buck up - only 561 days left.

Link: The Carpetbagger Report » Blog Archive » An acute case of ‘Bush fatigue’

And it's not a joke

In Bytom, Poland...

A police spokesman said: “One family occupying the ground floor of an apartment block worked out that they would not get flooded if there was no roof on the building, so they stole it.”
Link: Ananova - Family steal own roof

But it was all Clinton's fault, right?

“A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan,” the Times' Mark Mazzetti is reporting.
No? Rummy? Really?

Link: Danger Room - Wired Blogs

A few R's finally emerge from the 20th Century

It seems Cheney fatigue is settling in some Republican circles.

Might be just a fluke.

Link: Cheney Fatigue Settles Over Some in GOP | Chicago Tribune