For a good time read "Major Barbara"

Everybody loves to hate George Bernard Shaw for some reason or other, but the guy did write some good plays. Here's Major Barbara.


Yes, we can still get things done in a hurry when we put our minds to it

AP analysis: Special interests gave $3 million to members of new budget supercommittee - The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The 12 lawmakers appointed to a new congressional supercommittee charged with tackling the nation’s fiscal problems have received millions in contributions from special interests with a direct stake in potential cuts to federal programs, an Associated Press analysis of federal campaign data has found.

You say this like it's a good thing?

U.S. stocks rise but lack that quadruple-espresso buzz - The Tell - MarketWatch


Custard's Last Stand

iPhone photo: Phil Compton


Obama's plan: New ideas every week!

Obama vows new ideas to boost jobs, slams Congress | Reuters

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama sought to reassert economic leadership on Thursday by pledging to deliver new ideas every week to create jobs...

Wow. That's, like, as good as Hulu!


The obligatory August sunflower

, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Could come in handy if it rains too much

Kentucky city gives Bible theme park a 75% tax break | The Raw Story

A Kentucky city has agreed to give a staggering 75 percent property tax discount to a biblical theme park that will feature a full-size replica of Noah's Ark.

Picky, picky

Another Bailout Joins the Goofball Economy | NationofChange

For S&P to in­sist on mas­sive gov­ern­ment cuts that would only in­crease job­less­ness is like a bur­glar shift­ing blame for his crimes to the poor qual­ity of locks.


Next: How many Standards and Poors can get into that phone booth?

S&P balks at SEC proposal to reveal rating errors | Reuters

(Reuters) - Standard & Poor's, whose unprecedented downgrade of U.S. debt triggered a worldwide stocks sell-off, is pushing back against a U.S. government proposal that would require credit raters to disclose "significant errors" in how they calculate their ratings.

Riots privatized

Amazon UK's riot gear sales soar: Bat sales up 6,000% - Aug. 9, 2011

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Aluminum bats, police nightsticks and other weapons dominated the "movers and shakers" list of hot-selling items in Amazon.uk's Sports shop on Tuesday as riots spread across Britain for the third day.

Pink? Really?

Arizona Man Accidentally Shoots His Penis Off

A Phoenix man accidentally blew his dick off in a supermarket parking lot, after he tucked his girlfriend's "pink pistol in the waistband of his pants." According to a stone-faced police officer on the scene in this ABC15 report, the gun then accidentally discharged, sending a bullet directly through his penis and through his left leg.


And while we're at it, let's throw the canary another seed

Freddie Mac seeks $1.5 billion from taxpayers | Reuters

(Reuters) - Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac FMCC.OB said on Monday it would ask for an additional $1.5 billion from taxpayers due to losses stemming from the weak housing market.


Coming, well, just in time to a theater near you

Undernews: Obama supplies top level access to film makers producing Bin Laden movie to be released one month before the election

Maureen Dowd - The White House is also counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of Bin Laden to counter Obama's growing reputation as ineffectual. The Sony film by the Oscar-winning pair who made "The Hurt Locker" will no doubt reflect the president's cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 -- perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.

Good news from the Antoinette class

Sales of Luxury Goods Are Recovering Strongly - NYTimes.com

Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin “Bianca” platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years.

When toys attack

AFP: Hacker drone launches airborne cyber attacks

LAS VEGAS — Computer security specialists showed off a homemade drone aircraft Friday capable of launching airborne cyber attacks, hijacking mobile phone calls, or even delivering a dirty bomb.

Rich Perkins and Mike Tassey built the bright yellow Wireless Arial Surveillance Platform in a garage from a used US Army target drone...




We're back in bizarroworld kids. All over TV this morning, none of the usual suspects seem to see anything even slightly ironic in the fact that the S&P downgrade results in a rush to buy these supposedly "unworthy" bonds.

It's terribly sad to also recognize that with such cheap borrowing costs and lots of interested lenders, the US could easily finance a major stimulus and build the country's infrastructure back up, hire some teachers, help the states out of their fiscal binds. But no. We're going to pretend we're a household and act as though government borrowing is a personal character flaw and force years of suffering on undeserving people for no good reason. I wish I could think of another reason for this other than folly, greed and opportunism.

I can see it! I can!

Robert Reich (Slouching Toward a Double Dip, For No Good Reason)

Imagine your house is burning. You call the fire department but your call isn’t answered because every fire fighter in town is debating whether there will be enough water to fight fires over the next ten years, even though water is plentiful right now....

We are doomed

Standard & Poor’s Downgrade Seen as Adding Urgency to Debt Panel - NYTimes.com

Even before the panel is appointed [this would be the very panel referred to in the headline, above, as the "debt panel"], its mission is expanding. Its role is not just to cut the annual budget deficit and slow the explosive growth of federal debt but also to appease the markets and help restore the United States’ top credit rating of AAA. Otherwise, taxpayers may eventually have to pay more in interest for every dollar borrowed by the Treasury.

Emphasis mine.

So now we have this possibly extralegal "super congress," the "debt panel" (which sounds so much like "death panel" it's really creepy) avidly licking the boots of the private-sector Standard & Poors, one of the companies that, arguably, helped cause this mess in the first place, and we are to think this will somehow turn out well?

Can you spell "fat chance"?

Tomato Cages

iPhone Photo: Phil Compton


Whereupon it will seal itself up in a wall

Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore Faces Closing - NYTimes.com

For a second year city leaders have chosen not to subsidize a museum in the tiny house where the impoverished Poe lived from around 1833 to 1835, a decision that means it may have to close soon.

Sez it all


The leaders of the two parties in Washington react to S&P's downgrade:

“It happened on your watch, Mr. President,” Representative Michele Bachmann said, drawing applause at an afternoon rally in Iowa. “You were AWOL. You were missing in action.”

The White House blamed Washington’s polarized political climate for the downgrade. “We must do better to make clear our nation’s will, capacity and commitment to work together to tackle our major fiscal and economic challenges,” the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said in a statement.



That is simply awful. Bachmann's rhetoric is as emotional, crisp, understandable and clear as it insanely misguided. It is a strong message with a clear point. The Administration's messaging is confusing, lacks all emotional clarity, and is redolent of weakness. Not once in the Administration's response to the S&P downgrade did they mention the word "Republican." There is no fight left in the Administration, no driving narrative, no emotional core on which to hang one's hat except a continued and desperate clutch at the brass ring of "compromise." Whatever that means....