Time fugits, dude

UNDERNEWS: Lieberman & Collins wants government to be able to shut down Internet - just like Eygpt

Sean Bonner, Boing Boing -  On Thursday Jan 27th at 22:34 UTC the Egyptian Government effectively removed Egypt from the internet...This has never happened before in the entire history of the internet, with a nation of this size. [emphasis mine]

To geezers of a certain age saying "in the entire history of the internet" is sort of like saying "since the day before yesterday." Just pointing out. And while we're at it, "with a nation of this size" pretty much blows the rest of the graph away.

Gong. Try again.


Why the State of the Union Leaves Me Depressed : Mike the Mad Biologist

That was my emotional take on the State of the Union address: people just wanted a 'feel good' speech, the political equivalent of a summertime feel-good movie. It's as if people are so shellshocked by the economy and the rightwing strategy of demonization that they just want soothing noises.

So much for the can-do nation. Welcome to the 21st century version of malaise.

Civilization marches on

UNDERNEWS: MA of the day

A Canadian woman has become the first person in the world to graduate with a masters degree in Beatles studies.

"If Yankee New England isn't American, nothing is."

The Birth of the Blues | Via Meadia

Today’s libertarians sometimes like to call their blue model liberal opponents “unamerican”.  Nothing could be farther from the truth: if Yankee New England isn’t American, nothing is.  If John Winthrop, Cotton Mather, the Mayflower Compact and the first Thanksgiving aren’t part of the American story, friends, we don’t have a story.  That doesn’t mean Boston is always right, much less that in its current state the Puritan big-state tradition in American has useful answers to offer, but it also means that Americans inspired by this tradition will continue to add to the discussion over our future.

And far from being dead and buried, the Puritan political tradition in America is best represented by our current president; intellectually and morally, President Obama is a distinguished representative of Boston at its best.


But it's only the Constitution if it's on your side

UNDERNEWS: Senate GOP and Democratic leaders agree to ignore Constitution on filibusters

Sam Smith - It is a clear sign of how sick our republic has become when a major media outlet refers to behaving in a constitutional manner as "an obscure procedure." There is nothing obscure about it; it is the law.


And the best part is, once they figure out how to apply this kind of thinking to health insurance they can screw you all over again!

Beware Virgo drivers, Allstate data warn | Chicago Breaking Business

Don’t call them aggressive drivers. Call them “resourceful” drivers, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the worst on the road.

Virgos, known for being practical, industrious and perfectionists, were 700 percent more likely to be in a car accident in the last year than passionate, determined Scorpios, according to Allstate Insurance, which recently compared claims data against the revised astrological calendar.


Famous last words, No. 8799352

The day part of the Internet died: Egypt goes dark - Yahoo! News

"It can't happen here," said Jim Cowie, the chief technology officer...

On A Different Shore

Photo abstract: Phil Compton

Research we're not sure we really needed

Babies view bigger as better, a study finds - The Boston Globe

Long before they learn about popular kids or bullies — much less how to walk or talk — infants already understand social hierarchies and the fact that size is a key factor in determining who will yield when paths cross, according to a new study by Harvard researchers.

Bunny time

Chinese ready for upheaval and sex in Year of the Rabbit - Yahoo! News

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese Year of the Rabbit promises to bring political upheaval from restless youth and sex scandals for the amorous....

Tell us

Their Own Private Europe - NYTimes.com

President Obama’s State of the Union address was a ho-hum affair. But the official Republican response, from Representative Paul Ryan, was really interesting. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

(From our Midwest bureau.)


Rahm strides toward City Hall, and all's right with the world - chicagotribune.com

Moments after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Rahm Emanuel is qualified to run for mayor of Chicago, an amazing thing happened.

The state's high court — which in relentless portrayals in the Chicago media was either on the verge of lunacy or sinfulness — became wise and thoughtful once again.

And suddenly, all was right with the world.

We counted and we're still not sure

How many times has Jean Grey died? « Alternate Cover


Not all regulations are pesky regulations then?

The Girl Scout Cookie lie: No trans-fats - Yahoo! News

As long as a food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the FDA allows its maker to label it as having no trans fat at all...


Govt’s Loan Mod Program Crippled by Lax Oversight and Deference to Banks - ProPublica

With millions of homeowners still struggling to stay in their homes, the Obama administration’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention program has been weakened, perhaps fatally, by lax oversight and a posture of cooperation—rather than enforcement—with the nation’s biggest banks. Those banks, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Citibank, service the majority of mortgages.

251 times and you're out

Man arrested more than 250 times arrested again on Thursday - chicagotribune.com

A 53-year-old man arrested more than 250 times was in custody again Thursday night, accused of trespassing at O'Hare International Airport, according to Chicago police.

Whoever dreamed up this "vote" thing in the first place?

The Plum Line - Did Reid and McConnell just doom future filibuster reform?

So Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have reached a deal under which both have vowed never to pass any rules reforms via the "Constitutional option," which only requires a simple majority vote.

Filibuster on.

Yes it is OK to photograph public buildings

'See, Officer, I Can Too Take That Picture': A Clip-and-Save Version of a Federal Directive - NYTimes.com





Billionaire ruled unfit to stand trial due to drug addiction | Raw Story

Financier and cricket mogul Sir Allen Stanford was unfit to stand trial on charges of running a $7-billion fraud and needs treatment for a drug addiction, a US judge ruled.

Name the exact day a dude who knocked over a convenience store in the hood was declared unfit to stand trial due to drug addiction.


I'm calculating by the end of the evening I will have enough leftovers in my fridge to last until the end of winter or August, whichever comes first. All I will have to do between now and then is run out for coffee, yogurt, and bread.


OK, Bunky, pay attention here

Nerve agent mix-up prompts Utah base lockdown - Yahoo! News

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) – A mix-up over a tiny vial of deadly nerve agent led to the overnight lock-down of the Army's Dugway Proving Ground, a sprawling, remote base where the U.S. military conducts weapons tests, officials said on Thursday....

"The agent in question has been accounted for, and no one was ever in any danger," the base statement said....  [emphasis mine]

When a vial of deadly nerve agent is missing, tiny or otherwise, somebody, somewhere - and maybe everybody, everywhere - is in friggin' danger. Are you taking notes? Seriously. Get real.


More from the state that brought you Joe Lieberman


The Republican mayor of Enfield, Connecticut has forced that town's public library to cancel a showing of the Michael Moore film, Sicko....

Misery! W00t!

Snowstorm wallops Northeast, piling on the misery - Yahoo! News

"What a mess," said Andy Kolstad, a 65-year-old federal statistician from Silver Spring, Md., who had to walk half an hour uphill to his local Metro subway station to travel to Washington because there was no bus service. "There was no point in staying home because I couldn't have breakfast in the dark," he said.

Imagine it.

I won't point out it's January because you knew that, right?


My Response to the State of the Union: Let's Just Pretend That It Never Happened : Mike the Mad Biologist

3) Education lies: When Obama claimed "The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations", that's true, but only because schools where 25 percent or more of the student body are low income do miserably (roughly one third of schools). That's as much an issue of poverty as anything else. Didn't mention that, however... Anyway, most of our schools are 'competitive.' Not that all of our schools shouldn't be good--they should be!--but maybe there are 'factors exogenous to the school system' going on here.

An inch here, an inch there, pretty soon you're talking about real snow

Snowstorms stretching budgets across state - The Boston Globe

Scarcely a month into the season, many communities across the [northeastern] region have exhausted their snow and ice removal budgets and are diverting large sums from other municipal funds. The state Transportation Department has already spent some $40 million, Boston has spent $11 million, and even small suburbs have spent several hundred thousand, more than they typically spend all season.

We had another two or maybe three inches last night and we've got maybe three feet on the ground. As long as the snows stay small and light like last night's was it's not so bad but if we get a big heavy snow it'll be difficult to shovel because we're running out of places to put the stuff. And just to make things interesting some forecasters are seeing another bout of cold in our future. But today's shaping up to be sunny and 30-ish warm. 

But spring is right around the corner, wait and see.

And why not atom as the official state bomb?

Utah’s Gun Appreciation Day - NYTimes.com

Meanwhile, in Salt Lake City, the State Legislature is considering a bill to honor the Browning M1911 pistol by making it the official state firearm....

Yes, a committee in the Utah House of Representatives voted 9 to 2 this week to approve a bill that would add the Browning pistol to the pantheon of official state things, along with the bird (seagull), rock (coal) and dance (square). Also, although it really has nothing to do with this discussion, I have to mention that the Utah Legislature has provided its citizens with an official state cooking pot, and it is the Dutch oven.



America's takeaway from the SOTU



Krugman on SOTU

SOTU - NYTimes.com

Overall... I have no idea what the vision here was. We care about the future! But we don’t want to spend!



From our ever-alert Seattle bureau...

...a new addition to our world-renowned Work Avoidance list: The Journal of Universal Rejection

Watch the Wonkette get it right

Obama Blames Dumb Children For Crisis and Not Ivy League-Educated Wall Streeters

It’s always good to talk about edumacation, right? Is our children learning, and such? Well Barack Obama certainly did all that last night — but he actually went so far as to blame dumb American children for the global economic collapse, which was actually designed and directed by the red right hands of Wall Street, the “best and brightest” who had the best American education money and elite connections can buy! Our old pal Robert Scheer has this nasty little analysis that is probably the best one we’ve read so far....

Stuff you hadn't started worrying about yet

Yellowstone Has Bulged as Magma Pocket Swells

Yellowstone National Park's supervolcano just took a deep "breath," causing miles of ground to rise dramatically, scientists report.


Bristol Palin Speaking At Washington University For 'Sex Week'

When I was in school we didn't have sex week. We didn't even have sex. And we certainly didn't have Bristol Palin. 

So that's how old I am.


Photo: Phil Compton

The state of the Union is underwhelmed

Here's the text. Knock yourself out.

Remarks of President Barack Obama in State of the Union Address | The White House



Wait, what?

Hulu - Live Streams Lounge

WhiteHouse.gov Presents State of the Union
Stream Begins:
Estimated Length:
President Obama delivers his annual address to a joint session of Congress from the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol. The live stream, provided by The White House, will start with the year's highlights; it will conclude with a Q&A session.
Six friggin' hours? Are you kidding me?


Thick as thieves

Awful RIAA Lawyer Chosen By Obama As New Solicitor General

Recording Industry Association of America lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. will be the new solicitor general, as this is who Barack Obama nominated for the job yesterday. Remember the RIAA lawyers? They sue children and little old ladies for downloading a song off the Internet — or for simply being in the house or apartment building where somebody downloaded a song off the Internet. Also, Wired News reports, this Verrilli is one of five former RIAA lawyers now working in the Obama Administration. We guess the RIAA is a pretty good training ground for a powerful White House job, because in both instances you just viciously wail on people to distract from the fact that your whole tower is crumbling and in flames.  



cryptogon.com » ‘Wall Street Partying in Davos as Bankers Overcome Crisis’ [SIC]

‘Wall Street Partying in Davos as Bankers Overcome Crisis’ [SIC]

January 25th, 2011

In other news: ‘The unemployment rate rose in 20 states last month as employers in most states shed jobs.’


States do not make campaign contributions

No Bailout For You - First Draft

WASHINGTON – A top House Republican said Monday that the federal government will not bail out fiscally ailing states and said he opposes a proposal that Congress allow states to declare bankruptcy as a way of handling their growing piles of debt.

Yes, Bunky, we are screwed

Obama picks RIAA lawyer to replace Kagan as solicitor general | Raw Story

President Barack Obama announced Monday that he plans to nominate former Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawyer Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. as solicitor general, a position formerly held by Elena Kagan.

Sorry to break the news.



I bought a pair of cleat thingies for my feet (thingies) online (where the elite cleat their feet) (dude! stop that!) (OK) and they work great for walking on ice. Hey, weatherman, bring it. 

We are supposed to have another ice storm next week but I don't care. Today is warmer than yesterday, a toasty 19º as we speak, and the days are 10 or 15 minutes longer already than they were at the end of December. Spring is inexorably on its way. Nothing can stop it now. Woo hoo.

Blah blah

What to Watch For in Obama's State of the Union - NYTimes.com

In his first State of the Union address before a Congress under divided control, advisers say Mr. Obama will lay out his case for investment in education and infrastructure, while tempering his call for new initiatives with an acknowledgment of the country’s long-term fiscal challenges.

Translation: Giving up on Social Security, Medicaid, labor unions, pensions, the jobless and the homeless while possibly building a few high-speed (and high-fare) trains. And raising as much money as possible for his next campaign.

Is there nothing else on TV?

Roger Ebert on 3D movies

Why 3D doesn't work and never will. Case closed. - Roger Ebert's Journal

The notion that we are asked to pay a premium to witness an inferior and inherently brain-confusing image is outrageous.


A little bedtime reading

Insurance Companies Sue Bank Of America Over "Massive Mortgage Fraud", Find 91% Of Securitized Loans Are Misrepresented | zero hedge


Alas, these guys did not work on Wall Street

1.4 Million Have Been Out Of Work For 99 Weeks Or Longer: Congressional Research Service

There are 1.4 million "very long-term unemployed" who have been out of work for 99 weeks or longer, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

Ninety-nine weeks is a milestone for the jobless because that's the limit for unemployment benefits (though 99 weeks are not available in all states). Beyond that point, the jobless aren't eligible for much help besides food stamps and charity. The job market for anyone out of work that long is downright hostile.


The Chicago way

Ill. court throws Emanuel off Chicago ballot - Yahoo! News

CHICAGO – An Illinois appeals court threw former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for Chicago mayor Tuesday because he didn't live in the city in the year before the election.

From our internationally famous Work Avoidance list...

Snowman Cam


Cut it out!!

AccuWeather.com - Weather News | Upcoming Major Winter Storm in the Northeast

A major winter storm will hit the Northeast with everything from snow, a wintry mix, rain and gusty winds during the middle of the week....

And in other weather news:

Low-37°International Falls, MN


My kinda app: Here is a task manager for Macs that, instead if being called ToDo or Get It Done or Quit Goofing Off, You Slacker, is simply named iProcrastinate.

Next, you'll be begging them to buy your shirt back

cryptogon.com » China Bank Moves to Buy U.S. Branches

China’s biggest bank signed an agreement that would make it the first Beijing-controlled financial institution to acquire retail bank branches in the U.S., though regulators could still block the deal.

Disenchanted much?

I Hope Obama Doesn't Mention 'Educational Efficiency' in the State of the Union: On Misusing the Residual : Mike the Mad Biologist

At this point in Obama's term, I'm simply hoping that the things I care about, like Social Security and education, aren't mentioned by Obama in his State of the Union address....

Twit alert

The Super Bowl just aggravates our addiction to hyperbole - CSMonitor.com

Americans have become addicted to superlatives. We seem to need our regular “hyperbole fixes” as if to validate our own existence. This national syndrome becomes most egregious during the run-up to the “Super Bowl”....

How sweet it is

Legal Bills for Fannie and Freddie Abuses Cost Taxpayers $160 Million - NYTimes.com

Since the government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers have spent more than $160 million defending the mortgage finance companies and their former top executives in civil lawsuits accusing them of fraud....

Serious smashmouth

Big D leads Green Bay Packers to Big D - Yahoo! News

"We keep playing defense the way we know how and it's going to be tough for teams to beat us," Matthews said following Sunday's 21-14 win over the rival Chicago Bears.

When you have a defense that scores points, especially on an icy-cold day in Soldier Field, you're good. Green Bay v. Pittsburgh should be a good old-fashioned smashmouth brawl.

Go Pack.

Spoiling the party

UNDERNEWS: Meanwhile. . .

US Rep. Chris Smith (R-ight) points out that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Obama, just hosted and lavished a state dinner on the President of the country that is imprisoning the winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize - Fark

Just to clear that up

Olbermann Departs, as Media Consolidate Further | Informed Comment

It seems Olbermann is too extreme for US television. But Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, now they are mainstream. What universe could that proposition be true in? That of cranky old white billionaires. And television news is owned by them. Not by you.

(H/T TTTolg)



Sign that kid up

Third string quarterback comes in and out-throws the other two, combined, but Bears lose to some team from Wisconsin 21-14. 

Wait 'til next year.  

All you need to know

Bears gain 103 friggin' total yards in first half, give up 252. 14-0, Packers.

Grim and grimmer.


Chicago Tribune: Chicago news, sports, weather and traffic - chicagotribune.com

2nd quarter: Packers 14, Bears 0

If you can buy it you can stuff it up your nose

Officials: 'Bath salts' are growing drug problem - Yahoo! News

Sold under such names as Ivory Wave, Bliss, White Lightning and Hurricane Charlie, the chemicals can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates and suicidal thoughts, authorities say. The chemicals are in products sold legally at convenience stores and on the Internet as bath salts and even plant foods.

Fly like a Cheesehead

In Honor of Today's Game - First Draft



Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798 - Rick Ungar - The Policy Page - Forbes

In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed - “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.

And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind


Vote Geezer

Ron Paul, Ralph Nader agree on ‘progressive-libertarian alliance’ | Raw Story


Bear down, Chicago Bears

Lake-effect snow kicks off another cold day - chicagotribune.com

Expect highs between 15 and 19 degrees with wind chills of 5 to 15 below zero.

That should be the temperature by the 2 p.m. kickoff of this afternoon's Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers game at Solider Field...


Congress gets down to business, alas

New Congressional Seating for State of the Union - NYTimes.com

The talk in the West Wing may center on what President Obama plans to say on Tuesday in his State of the Union address to Congress about the still-ailing economy, or United States-China relations, or his education agenda. But here on Capitol Hill, the talk for the last few days has been all about the seating for the president’s speech and just who will be next to whom.


U.S. shivers from season's coldest weather - Yahoo! News
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bitter cold gripped most of the nation on Saturday, with wind chills pushing the mercury to its lowest temperatures of the winter so far, forecasters said.
So far? What do these guys know that they're not telling me?

Yeah, it's chilly. But it's also mid-January, so what's the point? And today the sun is out and this afternoon the temp may get as high as 20º, the optimists say, which is bordering on balmy this time of year.

Oh, and later in the week...

...more snow on the way.

But it'll be all gone by May.

Michelle Bachmann earns perfect score at PolitiFact

Bachmann approaches Iowa with trail of misstatements | Minnesota Public Radio News

"We have checked her 13 times, and seven of her claims to be false and six have been found to be ridiculously false," PolitiFact editor Bill Adair said.

Adair said no politician has been checked as often as Bachmann without saying at least something that's true.