Want to guess?

Now, after more than six years of work, $104 million spent, and without having connected a single house, American reconstruction officials have decided to leave the system unfinished, though they portray it as a success.

The story: U.S. Rushes to Complete Only Some Iraq Projects - NYTimes.com

Right! The sewage system in Falluja, Iraq.

Good line

A personal concierge who is often on the road, she uses her BlackBerry to text and e-mail clients, friends, and associates from behind the wheel of her sport utility vehicle. She knows she’s just one LOL away from a crash.

link: For restless thumbs, a necessary discipline - The Boston Globe

Now sounds like soup

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Army has dropped the Vietnam-era name "psychological operations" for its branch in charge of trying to change minds behind enemy lines, acknowledging the term can sound ominous.

The Defense Department picked a more neutral moniker: "Military Information Support Operations," or MISO.

link: Army drops 'psy ops' name for influence operations - Yahoo! News



As it turns out, all 18 corporate applicants seeking permits for new US nuclear power reactors – and lining up for tens of billions in federal loan guarantees – plan to use foreign manufacturers and labor to build major parts of those reactors....

“Nuclear power is US-made power only in the same way that a shirt made in China is ‘American’ because you buy it at a Wal-Mart in this country"....

link: US-backed loans to expand nuclear power: a boon for overseas jobs? - CSMonitor.com


Marist Poll - About three-quarters of American residents — 74% — know the U.S. declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776. 26% do not. This 26% includes one-fifth who are unsure and 6% who thought the U.S. separated from another nation. That begs the question, “From where do the latter think the U.S. achieved its independence?” Among the countries mentioned are France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain.



Unclear on the concept

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele expressed an unusual interpretation of the relationship between Barack Obama and the war in Afghanistan at a Connecticut fundraiser Thursday.

"This was a war of Obama's choosing," Michael Steele said at the event. "This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."

link: Michael Steele Says Afghanistan Was 'War Of Obama's Choosing,' Not Something The U.S. 'Wanted To Engage In' (VIDEO)

A few Chicago pix

Cleaning up an old iPhoto library.


No matter how many so-called regulations you enact...

The smugglers had bought the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of the biggest banks in the U.S.: Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August 2010 issue.

This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.


No, of course we can't afford extending unemploment insurance

New Mexico-based investors have teamed with Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries to build The Utopia, an opulent $1.1 billion ocean liner that will travel the globe, hopping between the world's major sporting and cultural events. The 105,000-ton and 1,000-foot long ship -- the weight and length of more than three Lady Liberty statues, from the base of the concrete platform to the top of the torch -- is scheduled for completion in 2013.

A gallery of pictures: High life on the high seas - All aboard (1) - CNNMoney.com



Several theories have arisen as to what Mayor Daley really meant a few days ago when he said:

"If they don't like it, they can kiss my ass."

(It's the third column on this page of four): For the Love of Mike: More of the Best of Mike Royko, excerpt

That would, of course, be not the current Daley, little Richie, but his old man, Richard J. Daley, da Mare. And Royko, Royko would be the greatest newspaper columnist that ever wrote a line, you can keep your Jimmy Breslin and the rest.

So read all four.


From the Arcata Police Log

10:46 a.m. A man described as both “elderly” and being in his late forties or early fifties, not to mention “scrubby,” formed a fashion-backward visage at a K Street gas station. Clad in an ’80s-style turquoise jacket and ignorance beacon baseball cap, the man reportedly “went through the motions with his hands of shooting the reporting party.”

link: Donut Shop Is Best Supporting Pastry Outlet In Various Dingbat Dramas – June 29, 2010 | The Arcata Eye

More: Sharron Angle Opposes Abortion Even With Rape, Incest: 'God Has A Plan' (AUDIO)

Yeah, but not too interesting

(it is interesting that various US politicians make the case for trying foreigners for alleged crimes against Americans even though its own citizens can never be tried for crimes against foreigners in their courts)


That freaky deficit

President Obama's administration has been blamed for reckless spending that has put America into its debt hole. But in reality, much of that spending emanates from policies of President Bush, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

See: CHART OF THE DAY: Reminder, The Deficit You're Freaking Out About Is Bush's Fault



Just a chunk of chocolate a day could have the same effect on high blood pressure as half an hour of exercise, new research suggests.

More: Chocolate could help treat high blood pressure - Telegraph

Dude, it's true enough for me.

Driving the crime rate up, in style

My city feels like a crime scene, and the criminals are all melting into the night, fleeing the scene. No, I'm not talking about the kids in black who smashed windows and burned cop cars on Saturday.

I'm talking about the heads of state who, on Sunday night, smashed social safety nets and burned good jobs in the middle of a recession. Faced with the effects of a crisis created by the world's wealthiest and most privileged strata, they decided to stick the poorest and most vulnerable people in their countries with the bill.

More: Naomi Klein: Sticking the Public With the Bill for the Bankers' Crisis

Tokyo Gore Police

The budget for fake blood for this Tokyo-based festival of slicing, shooting and chomping probably comes in about even with Titanic's budget for seawater.

More: Tokyo Gore Police Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes

We've added this baby to our list of Movies You Never Really Wanted to Know About, But Now You Do and, we're just pointing out here, it gets a solid 100% rating on the Tomatometer. Note the critical comment above, and more.

Glub, glub

There is no reason not to be angry with BP and its CEO Tony Hayward, but contrary to most news reports, the oil spill is far from the greatest catastrophe of the moment. It is vastly outweighed by an economic spill that will kill far more people, destroy far more of their jobs, and leave far more businesses in a desperate condition.