LONDON – The discovery of U.S.-bound mail bombs on cargo planes in England and Dubai reveals the vulnerability of air shipping...
That's sort of like saying...
The fact that the flotation device saved you from drowning just shows how dangerous those devices are.
It makes no friggin' sense. The discovery and apparent thwarting of our annual just-before-election-day scary terrorist plot shows how good security is, doesn't it? But it must be in the official journalist's handbook that every terrorist thing has to be, well, terrifying. Or maybe it's just Halloween.
If they're really so worried about the air security thing, why don't they just ban airplanes and be done with it?
The trouble with getting old is, things just start to creak. Seriously. Joints. Bones. Stuff like that. Or I get out of bed in the morning and find I have a sore heel on one foot. I went in for my annual checkup last week and found out that thing with my heel has a name. I don't remember what the name is but so what. If I know it has a name it doesn't hurt so much. If I ever remember what the name is, hey, by then I might have forgotten the whole thing. Funny how that works.
Anyway, I got A+ marks on my checkup so I'm certified for another year and...Oh crap. I'm going to get even older. I didn't plan on that. What if the other foot gets sore too?
About the aorta: The VA has decided some kind of screening for aneurisms is a good idea. This is kind of a death panel in reverse. To do this screening they plan to look at my aorta with ultrasound, so I guess I can find out if I'm pregnant at the same time. A twofer.
I hate to disappoint all the wingnuts but this sounds like a good idea to me.
Mortgage companies enrolled in the Obama administration's signature foreclosure-prevention initiative may be receiving taxpayer funds despite not having a legal right to the home or to the mortgage, a top Treasury Department official revealed Wednesday.
But despite faulty or missing paperwork, the Obama administration allows mortgage companies to boot homeowners from the program, sticking the borrowers with massive bills that often leave them worse off.
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is calling on both political parties to put aside partisanship whatever the outcome of Tuesday's election...
Why don't we just turn the whole government over to the wackos and then they might be really, really nice to us.
Several investigative bodies examining the Deepwater Horizon explosion have highlighted loose federal regulation as a contributing factor to the disaster.But even with that previous history, members of a presidential commission examining the spill were shocked to learn that government inspectors know little or nothing about crucial rig operations, including the process to safely seal an offshore well....
Get some incompetent regulators appointed and you're home free. Look for this same thing to happen with financial regulation.
All these policies [regarding Halloween safety] represent the heavily policed and professionalized side of our culture: the elements of American life where families are told to fear their neighbors, submit to surveillance, and trade in traditional pleasures for a homogenized facsimile of fun. The good news is that the fearmongers don't have a monopoly on the holiday, and that kids around the country can still enjoy the costumes, the candy, and the convivial custom of mumming around the block and begging for treats. "Despite our mounting fears and apoplectic media," Free-Range Kids author Lenore Skenazy recently wrote, Halloween "is still the day that many of us, of all ages, go outside. We knock on doors. We meet each other. And all that giving and taking and trick-or-treating is building the very thing that keeps us safe: community." It's not an x-ray machine at the courthouse that protects us, not an iPhone app that tracks sex offenders, not a state-issued pumpkin on a convict's door, not a super-sensitive schoolmarm who insists on calling the holiday the "Fall Festival." Just ordinary people who know their neighbors and want to share a night of fun.
Any Tea Partier who votes for [GOP candidates] is being played for a sucker.
I was watching an episode from the second season of Mad Men the other evening and one of the characters, in a restaurant, ordered steak tartare. Steak tartare is raw beef, generally mixed with onions and capers and maybe a few other things, often served with a raw egg. And we did eat it in the 60's and beyond, into the 70's or so. I used to drink a raw egg with milk for breakfast on occasion, and of course raw egg with Worcestershire sauce was a widely acclaimed hangover cure, although it never worked all that well for me. Wikipedia claims it's still possible to eat steak tartare with proper precautions although I doubt it is much done. Alas.
But what we do have in the new millennium that we did not have in the 60's is chocolate Cheerios.
I like to keep a box of Cheerios around for munchies. I figure it's probably better than potato chips or those puffy cheese things. I don't often eat Cheerios for breakfast but I do eat them as snacks. So imagine my delight at finding chocolate Cheerios in the grocery store this afternoon. Kind of like little tiny chocolate donuts with Cheerios inside. (Ewww. That's not exactly a pleasing image. But still.)
I bought some but I haven't tried them yet. I'm saving them for dessert.
The United States economy grew at an annual rate of 2 percent in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday, as it struggles to gain any momentum for a sustained recovery....
“It’s the expected G.D.P. number, which is mostly bad news for the economy,” said Josh Bivens, an economist with the liberal leaning Economic Policy Institute. “The growth rate is just nowhere near enough to put downward pressure on unemployment.”
Halliburton, in case you’ve forgotten, is not exactly a model citizen. It has evaded U.S. taxes and export bans through foreign subsidiaries; admitted to bribing foreign officials (a subsidiary paid $2.4 million to a Nigerian government official in exchange for favorable tax treatment); conceded in an internal memo (leaked to the Wall Street Journal) its cost controls for government contracts in Iraq were “antiquated” and its procurement “disorganized; was found by Pentagon auditors to have overcharged estimated at $27.4 million for meals served to American troops at five military bases in Iraq and Kuwait (in one camp billing for an average 42,000 meals a day but serving only 14,000)....
Which brings us back to the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Halliburton’s executives knew the cement it used to seal the well was filled with mud — but Halliburton said nothing presumably because doing the job correctly would have cost too much. And, hell, Halliburton is in business to make money.
After rating hundreds of claims in the 2010 election -- from TV ads, debates, interviews and mailings -- we're giving an overall Truth-O-Meter rating to the campaign.
We rate it Barely True.
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's commitment to reforming the rules of the filibuster will endure even if Republicans end up taking control of Congress, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Thursday.
Oh wait. There was no memo:
During his sit-down with "The Daily Show"...
It was something he said on TV. Last night? So good. It's already endured a day right there.
WASHINGTON — Halliburton and BP knew weeks before the fatal explosion of the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the bottom of the well was unstable but still went ahead with the job, the presidential commission investigating the accident said on Thursday....
Also keep in mind, Angle has been trying to convince Nevadans that she actually wants to preserve Social Security, despite having already committed herself to trying to "phase out" the bedrock American safety-net program. What we have, then, is a borderline-deranged Senate hopeful telling reporters she supports Social Security, while quietly telling supporters she considers Social Security -- along with Medicare, abortion, divorce, and gay marriage -- to be "wicked."
Despite this, and the bigotry, ignorance, extremism, and talk of violence that has come from the Republican campaign, of the last five polls out of Nevada, conducted over the last two weeks, Angle is ahead in all five.
I confess, I find it dispiriting to read the polls and see candidates, mostly Republicans, leading in various midterm races while promoting many of the very same ideas that got us into this mess. Am I hearing right?
(Noted by our Midwest bureau.)
Folks, you have to click the link and read the whole thing. And pay attention.
Lost in all of the attention paid to the heavy spending by Republican-oriented independent groups in this year’s midterm elections is that Democratic candidates have generally wielded a significant head-to-head financial advantage over their Republican opponents in individual competitive races.
It was Chuck Turner’s turn on the stand today and the 70-year-old councilor swore he has no memory of an alleged $1,000 bribe being slipped into his hand...
Checking-account fees have risen to an all-time high this year as banks seek to make up revenue they'll lose from new federal rules aimed at protecting consumers, according to a Bankrate Inc. study released today.
Banks screwing customers because of new rules that say they can't screw customers.
WASHINGTON -- Administration officials are trying to calm tempers after reports that the White House is declining to discuss court challenges to the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy during a summit with leading LGBT officials.
CHICAGO — Strong wind and torrential rain buffeted the Midwest Tuesday as forecasters predicted the giant storm could be the most powerful to hit Illinois in over seven decades....
"Everyone in Chicago is used to foul weather but with this type of wind I just hope nobody gets hurt by things falling from buildings, flying pumpkins, debris," said the 41-year-old assistant college dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Flying pumpkins. Smashing pumpkins. Get it?
Sigh. OK, I give up.
I tried to do a crossword puzzle the other day and got totally blanked because I am so friggin' old and, like, totally clueless that I don't know any of the topical references: What Homer Simpson said. Huh? Smashing ......... Well, I got that one, eventually, but still. You see what I mean. Apparently you have to watch TV a lot, read the entertainment news, and know a few 18-year olds to stand a chance.
Oh well. Speaking of TV, though, here's a find: Tin Man, available from iTunes, is a really, really good sci-fi take on the Wizard of Oz story in the form of a three-part TV miniseries. If you're looking for something to watch, this should be a strong contender.
One out of every 34 Americans who earned wages in 2008 earned absolutely nothing -- not one cent -- in 2009.
...[and] while the number of Americans earning more than $50 million fell from 131 in 2008 to 74 in 2009, those that remained at the top increased their income from an average of $91.2 million in 2008 to almost $519 million.
...when one of [Melinda Gates's] three children recently argued, “Mom, I have to have an iPod" she responded with "You may have a Zune.”
The conservative mayor of Castellammare di Stabia, Luigi Bobbio, says he wants to restore public decorum through a set of norms that include banning football games in public parks, blasphemy, and "very skimpy clothes."
Is there any act of compassion that Fox News doesn't believe to be a plot against America?
It's hard to say the answer is yes when a discussion on a proposed school dinner program in Washington, DC, is introduced as a "nanny state plan" that may "destroy American families."
I’m writing to announce that I’ve officially gone beyond the usual job-loss spectrum of denial to acceptance. I’ve hit a more obscure step, No. 8 or 9, in which you to come to grips with the fact that you can’t stand anybody who is employed.
“The best possible result for Obama politically is for the Republicans to gain control of both houses,” said Douglas E. Schoen, a Democratic pollster and strategist who helped President Bill Clinton recover from his own midterm Congressional defeat in 1994 to win re-election two years later. “That’s what Obama should want.”
(And Bunky, the fact this guy Schoen used to work for Clinton doesn't do a whole lot for me.)
I don't friggin' care what's good for Obama politically. What's good for Obama politically is not what this election is about. This election is about what's good for us politically, thee and me and that guy over there. And I, for one, can't see how it would be any better for me to have even more Republicans in Congress. or how Obama is going to "take on" even more Republicans when he can't deal with the ones he has now.
If you think electing sending more wackdoodles to Washington would make things better you are as nutty as Douglas E. Schoen.
Much has been made of President Obama's decision to reduce the number of troops in Iraq. But less attention has been paid to the fact that the U.S. has greatly expanded the number of private contractors working in the country. As the Nation has pointed out, "using private forces is a backdoor way of continuing a substantial US presence under the cover of 'diplomatic security.'"
In Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court chose the Republican president. In Citizens United, the court may return Republicans to control of Congress. So much for conservatives’ professed disdain of judicial activism. And so much for the public’s long-held trust in the impartiality of the nation’s highest court.
(Noted by our Midwest bureau.)
Even as the G.O.P. benefits from unlimited corporate campaign money, it’s pulling off the remarkable feat of persuading a large swath of anxious voters that it will lead a populist charge against the rulers of our economic pyramid — the banks, energy companies, insurance giants and other special interests underwriting its own candidates. Should those forces prevail, an America that still hasn’t remotely recovered from the worst hard times in 70 years will end up handing over even more power to those who greased the skids.
(Noted by our Midwest bureau.)