"Is this an episode of the 'Twilight Zone'?"

Worth. Every. Second.

So I wonder if this would work at airports too

MP: Breasts best defence against extremism

“Topless bathing probably isn’t a common sight on Pakistani beaches, but in Denmark it is still considered quite normal. I honestly believe that by including a couple of bare breasts in the movie, extremists may have to think twice before deciding to come to Denmark.”


Photo: Phil Compton

Don't miss this

Are Obama and Congress Set To Screw American Counties, Homeowners and Give Wall Street Mortgage Banksters a Retroactive Immunity Bailout? | Emptywheel

There are rapidly emerging signs the Obama Administration and Congress may be actively, quickly and covertly working furiously on a plan to retroactively legitimize and ratify the shoddy, fraudulent and non-conforming conduct by MERS on literally millions of mortgages.

Beginning with dumping Simpson and Bowles

Believing in Barack - NYTimes.com

The real gorilla in the deficit room is health costs. In fact, it’s a rabid big gorilla with a machine gun. All Bowles and Simpson said on that subject is that the government should establish “a process to regularly evaluate cost growth.” If that doesn’t work, they advised taking “additional steps as needed.”


Stuff to read

Matt Taibbi: Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners | Rolling Stone Politics

When you meet people who are losing their homes in this foreclosure crisis, they almost all have the same look of deep shame and anguish. Nowhere else on the planet is it such a crime to be down on your luck, even if you were put there by some of the world's richest banks, which continue to rake in record profits purely because they got a big fat handout from the government. That's why one banker CEO after another keeps going on TV to explain that despite their own deceptive loans and fraudulent paperwork, the real problem is these deadbeat homeowners who won't pay their fucking bills. And that's why most people in this country are so ready to buy that explanation. Because in America, it's far more shameful to owe money than it is to steal it.

Save the goldfish!

WHITE HOUSE NOTEBOOK: No dead fish means water OK - Yahoo! News

SEOUL, South Korea – Dead fish tell no tales — unless they're the goldfish being used to monitor water quality at the conference center where President Barack Obama and other world leaders met Friday to hash out global economic policy.

Hosts of the Group of 20 economic summit have released six goldfish into the convention center's water supply. The goal is to make sure the recycled water piped into restrooms is safe from any toxic attack by North Korean agents....

The animal rights group PETA denounced the tactic.


Well it doesn't really belong with "Dragon Tattoo" but still if they put it on the bottom shelf...

George Bush's memoir turns to crime | Books | guardian.co.uk

The special relationship is being turned on its head, with US peace activists following the lead of their British counterparts to launch a campaign to reshelve George Bush's new memoir, Decision Points, "where it belongs": in the crime section of their local bookshops.

...I say it's an excellent idea.

Little Tucker proves (once again) any mope can be a "pundit"

Tucker Carlson Sent Emails Posing As Keith Olbermann

Conservative pundit and Daily Caller editor Tucker Carlson perpetrated a hoax last weekend by posing as Keith Olbermann in a series of emails to a Philadelphia columnist.


Doing right by doing nothing at all

Noted by our Midwest bureau:

A Republican for Higher Taxes - NYTimes.com

For now, given the gridlock in Washington, especially in the wake of the midterm elections, Congress has an opportunity to take a giant, $300-billion step forward toward reducing the budget deficit by doing one of the things it does best: absolutely nothing. Do us all a favor, Congress, let the Bush tax cuts expire and, for once, show some fiscal responsibility.


Keep out

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Ah well, it wasn't on my list anyway

‘Lone Hen Turkey’ Saves America in George W. Bush’s New Memoir

To be perfectly honest, nothing much occurs to your reviewer on the subject of George W. Bush’s presidential memoir. All of these Political Apologias are exactly alike, and even this one is hardly worth getting worked up into a frothing rage and screaming something along the lines of “How dare George Bush publish a book? Doesn’t he know he was the perfect mixture of crime and incompetence? OUTRAGE! I’M ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY, etc…”

Because really, who the fuck cares?


And when it becomes impolitic to punish criminals, crime becomes free

Suburban Guerrilla » Blog Archive » Quote of the day

“When one side breaks the social contract, and the other side makes a virtue of never calling them out on it, the liar always wins. When it becomes ‘uncivil’ to call out liars, lying becomes free.”

– Rick Perlstein, in “How Obama Enables Rush”


A gem

Non Sequiter Headline Of The Day | Talking Points Memo


Who knew?

I decided to walk over to the coffee shop this morning about 10:00 and found myself arriving on Federal Street just in time for the Veterans' Day parade. Who knew? Certainly not I.

It wasn't much of a parade as parades go - a color guard, a couple of squads of geezers, and the high school band - but I was able to walk the five or six blocks to the coffee shop right along with the band, which was better than an iPod. Seriously. They're good. OK, they stuck to Sousa pretty much, but still.

In other news, I found a movie that scores 100% on the Tomatometer. It's the 1939 film, Ninotchka, which stars Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, and Bela Lugosi. It only scores an audience rating of 89%, but that's just what happens with crowd-sourced reviews. The more reviewers you have (in this case 1777) the closer you get to dead - and I do mean dead - center.

Ninotchka was adapted for the stage (by George S. Kaufman) and later (in 1957) for the screen as the musical, Silk Stockings. The movie version of the musical featured Cyd Charrise, Fred Astaire, Janis Paige, Peter Lorre, and a Cole Porter score.

White House folds (oh wait, really?)

White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's top adviser suggested to The Huffington Post late Wednesday that the administration is ready to accept an across-the-board continuation of steep Bush-era tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest taxpayers....

"We have to deal with the world as we find it," Axelrod said during an unusually candid and reflective 90-minute interview in his office, steps away from the Oval Office.


Which means, I guess, these poor 40 million wealthiest Americans wind up with only a meager $600 billion left

‘Giving Pledge,’ Promoted by Buffett and Gates, Stirs a Vigorous Debate - NYTimes.com

WITHOUT a doubt, the biggest event in philanthropy this year was the Giving Pledge, a commitment by 40 of the wealthiest Americans to give away at least half of their fortunes, about $600 billion.


The nerve, indeed

Suburban Guerrilla » Blog Archive » Getting Rid of Those Pesky Teachers’ Unions

Wall Street has had a long, tough fight against the terrible scourge of the all-powerful teachers’ unions. These people, and who knows what they’re really teaching anyway, have for years used their stranglehold on the nation’s politicians to insist that America continue pushing towards universal literacy and that they themselves be able to afford a modest, middle class lifestyle with modest, middle class pension.*

The nerve.


It's all in the numbers - somewhere

Only moments ago I was urged to celebrate Obama's getting 53,000 new American jobs from India and then I find out...

US jobless claims see sharp fall, offering hope - Yahoo! News

Initial jobless claims stood at 435,000 in the week ending November 6, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 459,000, the Labor Department said.

That was well below the 450,000 level expected by most economists and the lowest level since early July, when claims fell to 427,000.

...we saw 435,000 new jobless claims just last week and that number is considered, in some quarters, a friggin' triumph. 


Oh oh. Cruise adventure becomes an adventure...

Spam and a slow tow for thousands on cruise ship - Yahoo! News

In a scenario likely none of its more than 3,000 passengers pictured when they planned their seven-day jaunt on the Mexican Riviera, the disabled cruise liner was being towed to San Diego by tugboats. Instead of a lavish seafood buffet, passengers were subsisting on Spam.

Are any of them Democrats?

Cricket Sets Testicle Size Record - Yahoo! News

A species of cricket has broken an unlikely world record: largest testicles in relation to body weight.

GM makes big profit, hooray

G.M., Days Away from Offering, Earns $2 Billion in Quarter - NYTimes.com

Hourly labor costs have been cut by more than two-thirds, to $5 billion from $16 billion in 2005...


Status report

Nearly 59 million lack health insurance: CDC | Reuters

(Reuters) - Nearly 59 million Americans went without health insurance coverage for at least part of 2010, many of them with conditions or diseases that needed treatment, federal health officials said on Tuesday....

 Both adults and kids lost private coverage over the past decade," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news briefing.


Tony is so sad

BP's Tony Hayward says he would have done better with an acting degree | Video Cafe

In an interview to be aired Tuesday, former BP CEO Tony Hayward said that the company was not prepared to deal with the media "feeding frenzy" following the oil spill.

Hayward told BBC that he had been "demonized and vilified" following the spill....

"If I had done a degree at Rada [The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art] rather than a degree in geology, I may have done better, but I’m not certain it would’ve changed the outcome," he said. "But certainly the perception of myself may have been different."



Sure, we were just kidding around anyway

US may break promise to leave Iraq | Raw Story

The United States is open to the idea of keeping troops in Iraq past a deadline to leave next year if Iraq asks for it, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday.

Oklahoman's vote to ban Sharia law...

Oklahoma may have banned use of Ten Commandments along with Sharia law | Raw Story

But Rick Tepker, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Law believes the "Save Our State" constitutional amendment may have the unwanted side effect of preventing judges from referencing the Ten Commandments. Tepker called the measure "a mess."

"Many of us who understand the law are scratching our heads this morning, laughing so we don't cry," he told CNN.


Republicans will set us back to the 50's

Newstalgia Pop Chronicles - Golden Hubcaps - 1956 | Newstalgia

In 1956 the big crime wave was all about stealing hubcaps, and kids as young as 11 were doing it. Naturally, the hotbed of this festering inferno of hooliganism was Southern California...



Photo: Phil Compton

Scientists to the rescue, woohoo

Climate science: Climate scientists plan campaign against global warming skeptics - latimes.com

The American Geophysical Union plans to announce that 700 researchers have agreed to speak out on the issue. Other scientists plan a pushback against congressional conservatives who have vowed to kill regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

On lawyers from Illinois

Lincoln Wins. Now What? - NYTimes.com

Mr. Lincoln has made his position clear: while he is against slavery and calls it evil, he would not do anything — more to the point, that he is powerless under the Constitution to do anything — to end slavery where the Constitution already permits it. The line that he has drawn is against an expansion of slavery in the territories, but look at a map: there are no more territories held by the United States in North America that are in dispute. On every other matter relating to slavery he has been silent. And ultimately, they ought to realize that Mr. Lincoln may not be an experienced politician, or have strong political support, but that by training and avocation, he is a lawyer, and a good one. And almost every lawyer will tell you that it is cheaper to settle a matter quietly than to fight it out in court.

Wherein we appreciate being part of the public, ourselves

Vermont nuke plant closes after radioactive water leak | Raw Story

Vt. Yankee shuts down nuclear plant to fix radioactive water leak, says public not in danger.

Now Mr. Humility

Victorious GOP sets out to repair image - Yahoo! News

Presumed Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told colleagues in a letter that he'd "run a much different kind of Congress — one that is humbler, more transparent and respects the will and intelligence of the people."

In a letter to GOP incumbents and a newly elected class that includes many political novices, Boehner recounted his own "humble beginnings" working at his dad's bar and as a janitor working his way through college.



U.S. drones operating in Yemen, foreign minister says - CNN.com

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- In a rare public admission, Yemen's Foreign Minister told CNN that U.S. drones are aiding his country in its campaign against al Qaeda.


So many possibilities

Barack Obama, Phone Home - NYTimes.com

Voters gave Democrats and Republicans virtually identical favorability ratings while voting for the G.O.P. They gave Obama a slightly higher approval rating than either political party even as they punished him. This is a snapshot of a whiplashed country that (understandably) doesn’t know whose butt to kick first.

U.S. going bananas

Our Banana Republic - NYTimes.com

As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.

And it seems now there's a book

‘Blindsided’ - A President’s Story - NYTimes.com

W. never sweated the small stuff.

Unfortunately, he didn’t much sweat the big stuff either.


Like, somebody believed them (oh yeah, I guess they won)

Republicans Duck and Cover on Spending Cuts | Crooks and Liars

This week, Republicans swept to power by promising to cut, in the words of Indiana's Mike Pence, "runaway federal spending." But when it comes to putting taxpayers' money where their mouths are, Pence, incoming Speaker John Boehner, future Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann and much of the cowardly GOP's top-brass refuse to say what budget cuts they will actually make. And now to add insult to injury, many of the leading lights of the Republican Party are waiting for recommendations from President Obama's deficit commission, a panel whose creation they opposed.

Must have been a shock

Mashing modern days with the Victorian age excites fans of Steampunk - The Boston Globe

Unknowingly, the Rosenbaums had “steampunked’’ their home...

A losing team

James K. Galbraith: Obama's Problem Simply Defined: It Was the Banks

The original sin of Obama's presidency was to assign economic policy to a closed circle of bank-friendly economists and Bush carryovers. Larry Summers. Timothy Geithner. Ben Bernanke. These men had no personal commitment to the goal of an early recovery, no stake in the Democratic Party, no interest in the larger success of Barack Obama. Their primary goal, instead, was and remains to protect their own past decisions and their own professional futures.

Graham: R's want another war

Lindsey Graham Makes The Case For Strike On Iran

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who sits on the Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, said Saturday the U.S. should consider sinking the Iranian navy, destroying its air force and delivering a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard....

Graham told the audience that newly elected conservatives would back "bold" action against Iran, reports Agence France Presse...