I need a title for this one...

Photo: Phil Compton

The new American hero

NEW YORK — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein is getting a $9 million stock bonus for 2009, a modest payday by Wall Street standards that appears aimed at quelling criticism of the bank's compensation practices....

"It was certainly less than expected," said Mark Borges, a principal with Compensia Inc., a Northern California compensation consulting firm. "While the fact that he's making this much won't sit well with people out of work, it seems Goldman is being sensitive to the political considerations and optics of this amount."

"It's almost as if he's taking a bullet for everyone else," Borges added.

link: Goldman Sachs Bonuses: CEO Lloyd Blankfein Gets $9 Million Stock Bonus For 2009

Putting aside the puzzling question of just what optics has to do with this guy's bonus, and noting that all the $9 million is in stock that can't be cashed for a cruelly long five years, still, dude, when this guy is hailed as a hero for only taking a $9 million bonus we are seriously screwed.

So are we going to have to txt money to help D.C. now too?

Officials urged people to huddle at home for the weekend, out of the way of crews trying to keep up with a [snow] storm that forecasters said could be the biggest for the nation's capital in modern history....

"D.C. traditionally panics when it comes to snow. This time, it may be more justifiable than most times," said Becky Shipp, who was power-walking in Arlington, Va., Friday. "I am trying to get a walk in before I am stuck with just the exercise machine in my condo."

link: Snow piles up, paralyzing nation's capital - Yahoo! News

In New York, 12 year old schoolgirl is arrested for doodling on her desk

Wonder if they frog marched her out the door in handcuffs? Why yes, yes they did.

link: Spiiderweb™: NYC student, 12, arrested for doodling

According to the New York Times, the girl, one Alexa Gonzalez, among other punishments, was assigned to write "an essay on what she learned from the experience."

The mind reels in giddy delight.


Turbines grew up in California, won't spin in Minn.

For those who suspect residents in places like Minnesota of embellishment when it comes to their tales of bitterly cold winter weather, consider this: even some wind turbines, it seems, cannot bear it....

But the 12 turbines in question, each 20 years old, spent their earlier years twirling in California.

link: When Windmills Don’t Spin, People Expect Some Answers - NYTimes.com

When just about anything is worth a try

WASHINGTON – A powerful winter storm bore down on the Mid-Atlantic on Friday with as much as two feet of snow in store for the nation's capital, where the federal government prepared to shut early.

link: Snow bears down on DC as Mid-Atlantic region preps - Yahoo! News

Moving the federal government to Bangor or Duluth or, for that matter, Buffalo might be a really good idea.


Is this a great country or what?

PORTLAND, Ore. – The ketchup packet has been around for more than 40 years, and complaints about it for nearly as long: too messy, too small, too hard to open. Now ketchup giant H.J. Heinz Co. is unveiling the first major packaging change to the to-go condiment.

The new design has a base that's more like a cup for dipping and also a tear-off end for squeezing, plus it holds three times as much ketchup than a traditional packet.

link: Heinz revamps ketchup packets - Yahoo! News


Some time last summer I ordered three entirely unremarkable plain white Hanes T-shirts from a web site called "freshpair" (motto: "buy underwear in your underwear") and since then have received an apparently unending two, three times per week stream of spam which was really beginning to bug me until that underpants bomber came along and now the whole thing entirely cracks me up.

The "was" is a nice touch

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg Multimedia) -- The U.S. may lose 824,000 jobs when the government releases its annual revision to employment data on Feb. 5, showing the labor market was in worse shape during the recession than known at the time.

link: U.S. May Lose 824,000 Jobs as Employment Data Revised: Analysis - Bloomberg.com

Wish list

Robert Reich - I wish conservatives would stop complaining about big government and start worrying about the real problem - small democracy.



Bring on the robot

But how about Buckeye Chuck, Staten Island Chuck, Jimmy The Groundhog, and General Lee Groundhog?

None of them saw their shadows.

link: Groundhog Day 2010 PREDICTIONS: Local Groundhogs Do Not See Shadows, Unlike Punxsutawney Phil

You may recall the other day PETA called for replacing Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, with a robot. I say, can't happen too soon for me. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday, but look at all those guys who didn't (links at the link).

With a majority like that, even the Democrats could get us an early spring.

The un-beach

We are shocked

Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said that if they began to loosen one restriction [namely, the restriction on gays serving openly as embodied in Don't Ask, Don't Tell], others might unravel, leading to a louche atmosphere brimming with “alcohol use, adultery, fraternization and body art.”

link: Op-Ed Columnist - Defending the Long Gay Line - NYTimes.com

Emphasis mine.

Chambliss is one of those fighting R's who took five student deferments during the Vietnam war and so is, perhaps, not intimately acquainted with the military life.


Just so this blog doesn't get too colorful and warm looking

Oh fine, now we need to txt some money to these poor guys too?

Exxon profit slides 23%

... The world's largest publicly traded oil company said it earned $6.05 billion in the last three months of 2009, down 23% from $7.82 billion a year earlier.

link: Exxon profit slides 23% - Feb. 1, 2010

You know you're screwed...

...when you start thinking 25ºF is warm. Seriously. I looked at the temp gauge this morning and it said 25º and I thought, oh, that's warm.


Rock n Roll

Photos: Lynn C.

But there's gold in them thar hills

In Obama’s speech, he kept circling back to a Senate where both parties are dysfunctional. The obstructionist Republicans, he observed, will say no to every single bill “just because they can.” But no less culpable are the Democrats, who maintain “the largest majority in decades” even after losing Teddy Kennedy’s seat — and yet would rather “run for the hills” than accomplish anything.

link: Op-Ed Columnist - The State of the Union Is Comatose - NYTimes.com