I found a little bag of three donuts in the used bakery basket at the coffee store yesterday and bought it for about a buck and brought it home and put it in the drawer where I keep the bread and forgot about it until just now.

And what would that story be?

The most unlikely part of this story? That the US supposedly for years possessed intel that would have advanced Dick Cheney’s agenda, but failed to leak it.

link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Ahmadinejad and the nuclear enrichment plant of doom


I have no idea what this means



And more

About 160 million Americans receive health coverage through their employers. In general, the employer picks up 73 percent of the tab. This seems like a good deal. In reality, that money comes out of wages.

link: Analysis: You Have No Idea What Health Costs - washingtonpost.com

All this talk about how American health insurance is "employer provided" and therefore, somehow, magically free has been bugging me for quite a while. It is, according to this Washington Post piece, a long way from free. And whatever health care cost does not come out of wages goes into price. Money, need I remind our tax-hating rightwing friends, comes from pockets, not trees. And the pockets are yours.

True, a universal single-payer health care plan would make taxes rise, but that rise would be more than offset by savings in the private sector.

And think about it: If everybody, universally, was covered by single-payer health insurance, why would you need to add medical coverage to your homeowner and auto policies?

People would wind up better off with a single-payer plan.



Photo: Phil Compton

Chicken forever, or at least until next week

Yesterday I bought a six-pound package of chicken because it was $.75 per pound and because it was, well, a package, all or nothing, and I brought it home and put it in a pot and boiled it or stewed it or whatever it is you do to chicken when you put it in real hot water and leave it there for a while. And of course I had chicken for supper, last night, but now I have this huge supply of leftover chicken, enough to last forever or at least until next week. The problem with cooking for one is it's hardly worth the trouble to make a big casserole, chicken and noodles and mushrooms and oh that sounds good, I'm just saying, or chicken soup, so what it's gonna be is chicken sandwiches until next week. Or more.

Umm, no need to rush

Well, hey, everybody needs a place to crash

Just about this time last year, as the economy was racing downhill faster than an Olympic skier, the promoters of the Chicago Spire announced that Ty Warner, the reclusive founder and chief executive officer of Westmont-based toymaker Ty Inc., had signed a contract to buy the sprawling 10,000-plus-square-foot penthouse on the Spire's 141st and 142nd floors.

The asking price was $40 million, though the actual sales price was not disclosed.

link: Cityscapes: A sneak peek at the Trump Tower penthouse



Photo: Phil Compton

So are we talking halo here or what

Despite the fact that no one has seen it, a new survey says that 21 percent of buyers are interested in purchasing an Apple tablet device.

link: AppleInsider | One-fifth of buyers interested in Apple's unseen tablet

Me too. An Apple tablet is on my wish list for 2014, which is about the time I think I'll be wanting - no, needing! - one, all things considered. Considering what Apple's done with a touchscreen on a phone, I'm thinking this tablet will be pretty cool.

Whoops, indeed

Going after ACORN may be like shooting fish in a barrel lately -- but jumpy lawmakers used a bazooka to do it last week and may have blown up some of their longtime allies in the process.

The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.

link: Whoops: Anti-ACORN Bill Ropes In Defense Contractors, Others Charged With Fraud

This, Bunky, you just gotta love. And note a couple of posts below Taibbi's report on home mortgages that can't pass muster in Kansas. Kansas! The thing is leaking at every seam.


From a recent New Yorker piece on bioengineering:

For decades, people have invoked Moore’s law: the number of transistors that could fit onto a silicon chip would double every two years, and so would the power of computers. When the I.B.M. 360 computer was released, in 1964, the top model came with eight megabytes of main memory, and cost more than two million dollars. Today, cell phones with a thousand times the memory of that computer can be bought for about a hundred dollars.

Your tax dollars at work

Although the movie [Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story"] is not set to open nationwide until Oct. 2, Moore has been premiering a number of sneak preview screenings for Detroit residents in his home state of Michigan. But, as Michigan Live reports, Moore ran into problems when it turned out one of the theaters he rented for the screenings was owned by General Motors (GM) — which Moore famously skewered for its anti-worker policies in his 1989 film Roger & Me.

GM agreed to run the movie only if both Moore and the local press were locked out.

link: Think Progress » General Motors Bans Michael Moore From Detroit Premiere Of His Own Movie

And are likely to lag yet for quite some time

Mike Lux, Open Left - A phrase that the President and his economic advisors repeat too often, a phrase that is both politically tone deaf and potentially indicative of a much deeper problem in their thinking [is] "jobs are a lagging indicator" of our recovery. . .


Charles Pierce, smartass

Never in my long career as a professional cynic have I seen a spasm of Beltway bubblehood so far beyond even the limits of Irish Smartass to describe it. The political class in this country--politician and journalist, lobbyist and legislator, Republican and Democratic, Executive and Legislative -- has made a collective decision to protect the profits of one of the least popular industries in the history of the Republic, to preserve the iron grip of corporate bureaucrats over the practice of medicine in America, and to refuse vitrually without serious discussion to adopt measures favored by 77 percent of the voting public. It is to be in awe, is what it is.

link: Slacker Friday



This is a potentially gigantic story. It seems that a court has ruled that about half of the mortgage market has been run as a criminal enterprise for years, which would invalidate any potential forelosure [sic] proceedings for about, oh, 60 million mortgages. The court ruled that the electronic transfer system used by the private company MERS — a clearing system for mortgages, similar to a depository, that is used for about half the mortgage market — is fundamentally unreliable, and any mortgage sold and/or transferred through MERS can’t be foreclosed upon, at least not in Kansas....

Nothing like waking up in the morning and finding out a whole sector of the economy is completely screwed. Are these good times or what?

link: Matt Taibbi - Taibblog – Waking up to discover the mortgage market was a giant criminal enterprise - True/Slant


Photo: Phil Compton

Hurt your head much?

The Charlie formerly known as Charlie from California, now Charlie from Wisconsin (oh, it gets much, much worse) forwards by snail mail, I'm not kidding, a clipping from a Wisconsin newspaper wherein is found an Associated Press story containing this notably knotty URL...


...which, he explains, he would have emailed but he can't type it without making an error which, it turns out, is because the error has been unhelpfully pre-made by the AP itself in the form of a missing hyphen. See if you can find it, boys and girls. The correct URL for a schedule of places to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs is...


...and let's observe a moment of silence for all the copy editors who have to deal with this kind of thing.

(And this, more than anything else - namely, the unclickability of the thing - may turn out to be the reason newspapers are in so much trouble these days. Who knows.)

The guy sure sells tickets, that's for sure

Mention "Dillinger" and get 10% off...

...at Vilas County, Wisconsin's "Original Gangster's Paradise."

(The password is "red")



Pork on the move...

link: The Seattle Times: Maximus/Minimus, pork on the move

-Noted by our Seattle Bureau

(Gotta love the sunglasses)

OK then

"We can't go back to the era where the Chinese or the Germans or other countries just are selling everything to us, we're taking out a bunch of credit card debt or home equity loans, but we're not selling anything to them," U.S. President Barack Obama said in an interview with CNN television on Sunday.

link: Europe, U.S., China must take IMF medicine: Trichet - Yahoo! News

Not on my own list

When I heard that [author Dan] Brown was setting his newest novel in the city where I've spent my entire life, I confess I was secretly excited and curious. I'm an addict of D.C. books, a sucker for conspiracies in the halls of power. Having slogged through The Da Vinci Code, I knew that Brown's Washington wouldn't precisely be the city as seen on C-SPAN. I expected a heavy dose of Freemasons but also hoped he could offer a cunning take on theologically suspect Supreme Court justices, ominous senatorial rituals, and the secrets of the White House. . . . I am sorry to report The Lost Symbol turns out to be perhaps the strangest novel ever written about Washington. It is awesomely wrong about what makes the city compelling....



Another great photo collection

Browse hundreds of summer photos submitted by our readers, then start sharing your favorite photographs of Europe....

link: Why We Travel: Readers' Photos - Interactive - NYTimes.com

-Noted by our Midwest Bureau