Up For A Ride

Photo: Phil Compton

OK, but this means we can foreclose, right?

In a sign that more banks are under great pressure from the recession, 34 financial institutions did not pay their quarterly dividends in August to the Treasury on funds obtained under the Troubled Asset Relief Fund (TARP)....

"The banks are not paying their dividends because they are worried about preserving capital," says Eric Fitzwater, associate director of research at SNL Financial.

link: 34 banks don't pay their quarterly TARP dividends - USATODAY.com

Alas, there is no Nobel Labor Prize

WASHINGTON – The number of job seekers competing for each opening has reached the highest point since the recession began, according to government data released Friday.

The employment crisis is expected to worsen as companies stay reluctant to hire. Many economists expect a jobless recovery, putting pressure on President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats to stimulate job creation.

link: Job competition toughest since recession began - Yahoo! News

Factoid: Stats show 6.3 unemployed workers for every available job. The .3 is the guy who will get hired.

As I am about to become a .3 myself, things here are clearly looking up.

Suspicion noted

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) – Suspected militants dressed in army uniforms attacked Pakistan's army headquarters on Saturday...

link: Gunmen attack Pakistani army HQ - Yahoo! News

Once again, Air Force does not blow you up. Good Air Force!

BISMARCK, N.D. — A truck driver who lost control of a semitrailer carrying missile parts from North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base was distracted by a “large insect” that flew in a window and landed on the driver’s back, the military said in a report released Friday. The Air Force said the truck from the base’s 91st Missile Wing, which overturned Aug. 31 on a gravel road in northwest North Dakota, was carrying rocket engine parts for intercontinental ballistic missiles but no nuclear material.

...The shipment also contained two 14-gallon tanks of liquid rocket fuel, but never was in danger of exploding or leaking, the military said.

link: Military says bug distracted ND missile driver :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Nation


Right, dude, if there's anybody who would know

LAS VEGAS—The Miss America Organization says Rush Limbaugh will be a judge for the 2010 pageant in Las Vegas.

link: Limbaugh to judge 2010 Miss America Pageant - Boston.com

"Left I" on Obama Peace Prize:

...like awarding the physics prize for a grant proposal.

link: Left I on the News

No mercy in Miami

7:21 P.M. — MIAMI — A judge who routinely granted extensions in foreclosure cases for compassionate reasons has been chastised by a state appeals court, which said her rulings amounted to an abuse of discretion.

The Third District Court of Appeal said “benevolence and compassion” were not legally sufficient grounds for Circuit Judge Valerie Manno Schurr to allow a Miami couple an extra month to try and sell their home before a foreclosure sale.

link: Fla. appeals court chastises judge over compassion in foreclosure cases | news-press.com | The News-Press

Obama joins Arafat, Kissinger at Nobel peak

The decision to bestow one of the world's top accolades on a president less than nine months into his first term, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, was greeted with gasps of astonishment from journalists at the announcement in Oslo....

link: Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize to mixed reviews - Yahoo! News

Ho hum. I don't pay all that much attention to the Academy Awards either.

PS For about the same reasons.

Nobody escapes

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Gone are the hot breakfasts in most dorms and the pastries at Widener Library. Varsity athletes are no longer guaranteed free sweat suits, and just this week came the jarring news that professors will go without cookies at faculty meetings.

By Harvard standards, these are hard times....

link: At Harvard, Leaner Times Mean No More Hot Breakfast - NYTimes.com

"15 reasons to get out of Vietghanistan"

1. The planning of 9-11 was done in hotels and apartments in Germany and Spain, and flight schools in the United States. Even Paul Pillar, former CIA deputy chief for counter-terrorism will tell you that an al Qaeda base in Afghanistan would not significantly increase threats to the United States.

2. If the Taliban had control of Afghanistan, it would likely not allow al Qaeda in. Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. president's guy in Afghanistan, will tell you the same....

link: ...and 13 more from UNDERNEWS



Take a break, Bunky. Seriously. You gotta see The Pirates of Penzance. Found on Hulu the other night when I was just poking around there, it's a 1983 film featuring Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury, Linda Ronstadt, and, sure, a bunch of other people and based, of course, on Gilbert and Sullivan's fantastic operetta of the same name. It starts a little slower than is the modern fashion, but if you stay with it until the cops arrive there will be no going back.

Windows 7: Not much behind

Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal has given Microsoft's Windows 7 a glowing review, noting that Microsoft's latest operating system is still behind Apple's Mac OS X, but not by much.

link: AppleInsider | Mossberg: Windows 7 narrows the gap with Apple's Mac OS X

When glowing reviews are written...

The best part is, wow...

Some on the [Olympic] bid committee were saying Chicago had up to 33 votes in the first round. Charlie Battle of Atlanta, among half a dozen international relations consultants paid by the bid committee, said he expected "23 or 24."

link: Chicago 2016 team: Was it misled or did it miscount? -- chicagotribune.com

...half a dozen interfreakingnational relations consultants, who knew? And I've been looking for a new career. Dude, this could be it.


So the plan was...

...I was going to clean up my bedroom today but then I thought, hey, it's almost Halloween, isn't it, so that means things are supposed to look a little spooky, doesn't it, so I decided to wait.

"Strict constructionist" that he is...

Justice Antonin Scalia...insisted the First Amendment did not allow the government to limit speech and expression unless it involved sex or obscenity.

link: Court mulls legality of a 'Human Sacrifice Channel' - San Jose Mercury News

Say what?

Oh, Bunky, I really, really, really hope this is true

In an effort to rid the Good Book of "liberal bias," [Conservapedia] has set up the Conservative Bible Project, which aims to rewrite the Bible from a modern, conservative perspective.

link: Conservative group aims to delete ‘liberal bias’ from Bible | Raw Story


Embarassing confession

Newsweek Video | Return to Oz: The Munchkins 70 Years Later

When I was in the fourth grade, I discovered a copy of "The Wizard of Oz" in the neighborhood library. I was spellbound. It was the first book I ever read, and it was the one thing that turned me on to a life of reading and writing. Years later, I found out that it was also this amazing movie.

Embarrassing confession: When I was in college, I was cast as one of the Lollipop Kids (even though I was six feet tall.) I think there might have been other resemblances.

Anyway, it was magical stuff. And that movie endures, 70 years later. Priceless.

-Paul Knue

On the rail


Flowers with finger: Nice!

Early Morning Trawl

Photo: Phil Compton


"Obama loses!"

So what did we learn from this moment? For one thing, we learned that the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican Party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old.

link: Op-Ed Columnist - The Politics of Spite - NYTimes.com