Why does this sound like the summary of a horror flick?

Cain criticizes Obama's Iraq strategy as he courts Iowa football vote - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

"I started coming to Iowa last fall," he said. "And I think the fact we are leading in the polls in Iowa shows that when people get on the Cain train, they don't get off."


They don't make music like this any more

1955 Radio Hits

Watch a little bit of this

It's a series of short (eight minutes or so) episodes in an occasionally plodding, vaguely weird yarn about YA invasion of earth, from SyFi, but it's worth watching at least part of because it was made by people who really understand and love black-and-white film. Which makes it a real pleasure to see. 

A chilly afternoon

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Family values, Texas style

Man Oh Man Does Rick Perry Love Guns | Election 2012

“It was a long love affair with a boy and his gun, that turned into a man and his gun, that turned into a man and his son and his daugher [sic] and their guns,” an orange-and-khaki-clad Perry said.

And those #OWS kids dress funny too

Wall St. Protest Isn’t Like Ours, Tea Party Says - NYTimes.com

Oh, wait.

Archnemesis! Woohoo! Iran is the Joker now!

McCain calls end of Iraq War “a strategic victory for our enemies” | The Raw Story

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s conservative critics on Friday blasted his announcement that all US troops will leave Iraq by year’s end, citing worries US archnemesis Iran will fill the vacuum.

Yeah, I can't wait

Springy yoyos turn buildings into sources of energy

Buildings, bridges, and people all get rid of excess energy with characteristic mechanical motions. If you want to collect that energy, you need an oscillator with a similar characteristic motion—the same frequency and a similar amplitude. That means you need a pendulum the size of a building to collect waste energy from the building. Which doesn't seem like such a cool idea. A group of researchers have recently shown how a child's toy—the yoyo—can turn these low frequency vibrations into fast rotational motion, allowing for efficient energy conversion without the enormous size.

It's nice to see things are getting better, but the 20th Century did set a pretty low bar

News from The Associated Press

Yes, thousands of people have died in bloody unrest from Africa to Pakistan, while terrorists plot bombings and kidnappings. Wars drag on in Iraq and Afghanistan. In peaceful Norway, a man massacred 69 youths in July. In Mexico, headless bodies turn up, victims of drug cartels. This month eight people died in a shooting in a California hair salon.

Yet, historically, we've never had it this peaceful.

Bachmann: Iraqis won't stay bought

Romney And Bachmann Denounce U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq | Election 2012

“We have been ejected from a country by the people that we liberated and that the United States paid for with precious blood and treasure,” Bachmann writes.


Kadafi is another notch on Obama's lethal-force belt - latimes.com

For a president who promised to end the gunslinger ways of his predecessor, Barack Obama has proven himself comfortable with the use of lethal force.

In the last six months, he authorized Navy SEALs to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. He approved the fatal drone strike on an American cleric in Yemen and dispatched military advisors to Uganda to help hunt down the leaders of a notorious militia. All told this year, he has sent U.S. troops into action on land or in the skies of seven countries on two continents.

Now he has added Moammar Kadafi to the list of enemies eliminated.

Emphasis mine.


Koch brothers accidentally fund study that proves global warming - CSMonitor.com

The latest global warming results confirm those from earlier, independent studies by scientists at NASA and elsewhere that came under fire from skeptics in an episode known as 'climategate'.

Big trouble on the little hill they call a mountain

Wilmot Mountain ski resort and Lake County Forest Preserve District in court over piece of land - chicagotribune.com

Generations of local skiers have perched atop the slopes of Wilmot Mountain, waiting their turn among the crowd of novices, children and old pros before swooping down to the lodge.

Skiing Wilmot is sort of like skiing a bowling ally but hey, it's right there.


I think we're all supposed to be celebrating this but I'm just planning to take a nap

Qaddafi's Body Is Now a Tourist Attraction in a Misrata Meat Locker - Global - The Atlantic Wire

As the Libyan government scrambles to figure out how to bury their dead dictator, curious onlookers with cameras  are flocking to the meat store where his body is being kept.


iPhone photo: Phil Compton

Short stuff: How an immigrant from Vienna changed everything

Annals of Commerce: The Terrazzo Jungle : The New Yorker

Victor Gruen may well have been the most influential architect of the twentieth century. He invented the mall.

Home team makes Onion cry

Bears Somehow Proud Of Selves For Beating Vikings | The Onion Sports Network

CHICAGO—According to reports from within the Bears organization, pride has somehow been displayed by the team this week following its 39-10 home victory over the struggling 1-5 Vikings. "I thought we looked great out there," said head coach Lovie Smith...


We just have to wait for a better one I guess

Chicken-Shit Asteroid Veers Away At Last Minute | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

TUCSON, AZ—Though initial calculations showed it to be on a direct collision course with Earth, a pansy-ass asteroid approximately the size of Rhode Island has instead altered its trajectory to avoid the planet by more than 40,000 miles, astronomers at the University of Arizona reported Monday.

Finally, somebody asks the question

These Millipedes Can’t Hear, So Why Do They Sing? | Wired Science | Wired.com


Yeah, "might have been resisting," let's go with that

Latest Updates on the Death of Muammar el-Qaddafi - NYTimes.com

As more video has been posted online that appears to show Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi surrounded by rebel fighters before and after his death on Thursday, a senior official from Libya's National Transitional Council told Reuters: "They captured him alive and while he was being taken away, they beat him and then they killed him." Although one video clip seemed to show Colonel Qaddafi under the firm control of the fighters, who were beating him and pulling his hair, the unnamed official said that the deposed Libyan leader "might have been resisting" when he was shot and killed.

More of the same all around

More bad news for U.S. workers -- and Obama - U.S. Economy - Salon.com

Call it a case of the glass 1 percent full versus the glass 99 percent empty. In the short-term, economic data continues to trickle in indicating weak signs of growth — nothing, perhaps, that will change gloomy perceptions of the economy, but still mildly encouraging....

But viewed over the long term, the U.S. economy is a disaster. Average wages for American workers continue to fall, and the steady decline in the overall standard of living for most Americans continues remorselessly.

When it happens in some other country it's freedom; when it happens here it's pepper spray

Gaddafi killed as Libya's revolt takes home town - chicagotribune.com

President Barack Obama, who chose a back seat in Libya as he worked to extract American forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, offered a veiled warning to other autocrats, such as Syria's beleaguered Bashar al-Assad: "The rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end," Obama said.

Everywhere, they watch: woo woo

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Yea! I knew she could beat Perry if she just hung in there

GOP 12: Cain holds solid lead in Iowa

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows Herman Cain with a 7% advantage over Mitt Romney in Iowa.

1. Herman Cain 28%

2. Mitt Romney 21%

3. Ron Paul 10%

4. Newt Gingrich 9%

5. Michele Bachmann 8%

6. Rick Perry 7%

7. Rick Santorum 4%

8. Jon Huntsman 2%


Meanwhile, in other news...


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Americana: Microsoft wants to bring back the phone booth

AppleInsider | Android, Windows Phone bosses downplay Apple's Siri threat

(Microsoft's Windows Phone chief Andy) Lees implied that Microsoft would avoid having its users speak commands to their phones in public.

And oldie but a goodie: Gadaffi was "hiding in a hole"

Gaddafi killed as Libya's revolt claims hometown | Reuters

An anti-Gaddafi fighter said Gaddafi had been found hiding in a hole in the ground and had said "Don't shoot, don't shoot" to the men who grabbed him.

Fortunately for all concerned we are not a conspiracy theorist so we do not believe for an instant the timing of Gadaffi's announced capture had anything whatever to do with the visit to Libya of the U.S. Secretary of State only a day or two earlier.That would be a simple coincidence, we are quite sure.

Money junkies, getting their fix however they can

Bank of America raising the bar for avoiding debit-card fee | McClatchy

As Bank of America's checking account options go through a transition, avoiding the $5 debit-card fee rolling out next year is set to get harder.

In essence, customers will need $20,000 with the bank to avoid the fee instead of the $5,000 they'd need under options available today.

But the bottom line is, they all want them some Wall Street love

Obama Has Actually Raised More Money from Wall Street Than Romney - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

t all comes down to the fact that Obama, as a sitting president enters the campaign with the full control of the Democratic National Committee and has been aggressively fundraising for it alongside his official re-election campaign. While The Times looked only at campaign contributions, The Post tallied DNC donors as well and found that in aggregate dollar terms, there is still plenty of money coming in from Wall Street to Obama. Including those, they conclude that Obama has brought in $12 million from employees of the finance sector compared to $7.5 million who have contributed to Romney.

And Breakaway Beasts would be a good name for a rock band

Buckeye State is Longtime Leader in Breakaway Beasts - ProPublica


A note from Sam Smith's cliche challenge

Undernews: Cliche challenge

Two new additions to our cliche challenge did well - "at the end of the day" and ""you know what," but what was particularly fascinating was support for our long held view that one of the reasons we don't do a good job with public works is because we call them infrastructure.

(There's a graph at this link.)


Big splash in Chicago

High winds, fear of 24-foot waves on Lake Michigan closes LSD path - Chicago Sun-Times

An “energetic autumn storm” full of rain, heavy wind gusts and waves expected to reach 24 feet Wednesday night has prompted the city to close the Lake Shore Drive bike path.

Pedestrians near the path are advised to exercise extreme caution, if not totally avoid running, cycling or walking near the edge of Lake Michigan, as expected winds and waves can cause wipeout conditions

This has been the most anemic autumn I've seen for a long, long time

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Probably these Rs would be better off if they figured out some way to have their debates in secret

GOP debate audience in Vegas cheer Herman Cain for blaming Occupy Wall Streeters for being jobless

The audience at Tuesday night's GOP debate was a big fan of Herman Cain's blame game.

The Las Vegas crowd broke into cheers when the presidential candidate repeated controversial comments that Occupy Wall Street protesters should fault themselves for being unemployed.

Now it gets serious

Karaoke-Triggered Assault Sends Man Through Plate-Glass Window - Lowering the Bar

Clearly, it's time to make pot legal, and declare War on Karaoke.

Charming? I'm outta here.

Close Read: An American Teen-ager in Yemen : The New Yorker

Where does the Obama Administration see the limits of its right to kill an American citizen without a trial? (The last time I wrote about Awlaki, a reader commented that “Awlaki was a citizen in name only”; but that name is the name of the law, and is, when it comes down to it, all any of us have, unless we want to rely on how charming our government finds us.)

Hasn't produced a single job

President Obama's strategy on jobs is working — even if Americans aren’t - The Hill's Ballot Box

President Obama’s newfound message discipline on jobs and his two-pronged attack on the GOP are providing the beleaguered president with new signs of life not long after many were wondering if he had anything left. 

No, it hasn’t produced a single job, and it might not for a long time, if ever, but this is what winning campaigns look like...

I still won't vote for him

Two Awlaki teenage relatives killed in Yemen attack: family | Reuters

Yemeni officials said on Saturday about 24 people, including a son and a brother of Anwar al-Awlaki, were killed in an air strike on an al Qaeda hideout near the town of Azzan in the southern Shabwa province.

"Abdel-Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki was born in the U.S. city of Denver, Colorado on 26, August 1995, and thus he is not 21 or 27-years-old, but just 16," the statement said. 

It added the second member of the Awlaki family killed was Ahmed Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki, 17.

Going somewhere? (It's audio.)

So now there's something new to worry about (in addition to the German satellite that might land on you some time between Friday and Monday)

Uncanny valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The uncanny valley is a hypothesis in the field of robotics and 3D computer animation which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers.

Better start working on this now

Calculate the Optimal Bucket Size for Your Kids’ Halloween Haul (GeekDad Wayback Machine) | GeekDad | Wired.com

Instead of playing the equivalent of Russian roulette with your child’s Halloween bag size, use the equation below to calculate—with the power of absolute mathematical certainty (wink, wink)—the bag size that’s best for you and yours.

Everybody's doing it

News from The Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- The German Aerospace Center says one of its retired satellites is hurtling toward the atmosphere and pieces could crash into the earth as early as Friday.

Republicans agree on not nuking Nevada; otherwise not so much

GOP candidates turn more biting in Vegas  | ajc.com

In a bow to Nevada voters, none of the contenders said he wanted to open a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

Running low on keepsakes?

$10K asking price for photo with Michelle Obama at fundraiser - chicagotribune.com

When first lady Michelle Obama comes home to Chicago next Tuesday, a group photo with her at a campaign fundraiser won’t come cheap.

The asking price for a ticket to a "family photo reception" is $10,000, according to an invitation to the event. The invitation specifies that there may be a maximum of six guests in the photo.


This is just plain sad

Occupy Wall Street, tea party 'not that different' - Jennifer Epstein - POLITICO.com

President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the Occupy Wall Street movement is “not that different” from some of the tea party protests, his strongest statement yet on the demonstrations spreading across the country.

Forget more jobs — let's have fewer people

News from The Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said Tuesday his agency deported nearly 400,000 individuals during the fiscal year that ended in September, the largest number of removals in the agency's history.


Hot potatoes

Wall Street to Dems: you can't have it both ways - Robin Bravender - POLITICO.com

President Barack Obama and other top Democrats are parroting the anti-corporate rhetoric running through the Occupy Wall Street protests, trying to tap into the movement’s energy but keep the protesters at arms’ length.

Sidestep (Charles Durning in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)

Go ahead, rub it in

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Sadly, yes

'Go ask Osama' - Maggie Haberman - POLITICO.com

The death of bin Laden remains one of the administration's signature accomplishments...

Empty now

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Just give us a crumb or two, Ds beg

For a jobs bill in pieces, Obama hits road in NC - BusinessWeek

"Essentially they said no to you," Obama told a supportive crowd outside Asheville. Noting that Republicans will now get a chance to vote on elements of his jobs agenda one by one, he said: "Maybe they just couldn't understand the whole thing all at once. So we're going to break it up into bite-size pieces."


Maybe somebody needed the money

Obama's teleprompter, podium stolen in Va. - Local News - Washington, DC - Washington D.C. - msnbc.com

A van containing President Obama's teleprompter and podium were stolen from a Virginia hotel parking lot on Monday, according to NBC12 in Richmond.



Small time

Robert Reich (The Meagerness of the Republican Debates, the Smallness of the President's Solutions, and the Need for a Progressive Alternative)

The biggest thing the President has proposed is a plan to create 2 million jobs. But that’s not nearly big enough. Today, 14 million Americans are out of work, and 11 million more are working part-time who’d rather be working full time.


News from The Associated Press

BLACKVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- Kudzu - the "plant that ate the South" - has finally met a pest that's just as voracious. Trouble is, the so-called "kudzu bug" is also fond of another East Asian transplant that we happen to like, and that is big money for American farmers.


I don't know either

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And this is what's wrong...

...and wrong, Bunky...and sorry about linking to the paywalled NYTimes but all you reall need to know is right here in this one paragraph, right here...

Big Cash Edge Powers Obama In Drive for 2012 Election - NYTimes.com

Since the beginning of the year, Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee, for which the president is helping raise money to finance his party’s grass-roots efforts, have spent close to $87 million in operating costs, according to a New York Times analysis of campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That amount is about as much as all the current Republican candidates together have raised so far in this campaign.

...in which the question arises, what with all the things that are going on right now...folks marching in the streets, assassination squad dispatched to Africa somewhere (oh yeah), Europe threatening to melt, China...well, just China...all these things and more...and who's minding the store? Not that the question is Obama-specific, necessarily...if Goofy were president he'd be out campaigning too, more than a year before the next election and never mind what we're paying him to do, and spending a bazillion bucks to do it and am I sounding a little worked up here? Really?

And another thing. Raising money to finance grass-roots efforts? Efforts that are funded by millions of DNC dollars are not grass-roots efforts any more than the ones the Kochs pay for are. And a tiny mini-scandal blew past a few minutes ago about how #OWS has 300 grand in a bank somewhere and the DNC is talking $87 mil? Come on.

Meanwhile Obama wants to piggyback on the #OWS buzz without, of course, stepping on any actual Wall Street toes, not any big (read, available for making donation) toes anyway.

And it all just crumbles away.

Play both sides much?

Obama opposes repeal of healthcare program suspended last week - The Hill's Healthwatch

President Obama is against repealing the health law's long-term care CLASS Act and might veto Republican efforts to do so, an administration official tells The Hill, despite the government's announcement Friday that the program was dead in the water.

Once upon a time, Bunky, there was Roxy Hart, but now it's just the cupcake lady

Cops: Woman charged after pelting husband with cupcakes - chicagotribune.com

In the heat of a domestic dispute, a Chicago woman pelted her husband with cupcakes before police arrived to arrest her Saturday night, authorities said....

Several of the confections apparently hit their mark, as the man's head and shirt were smudged with icing when officers arrived, according to a police report.

President Wall Street to get all #OWS

Obama jobs roadshow seeks to tap anti-Wall St anger | Reuters

Obama -- whose poll numbers have fallen over his handling of the stagnant economy and high unemployment -- has voiced sympathy with the grievances of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement but has done so cautiously, not least because of his own economic team's ties to the financial industry.

And the Regressives hate it to this day

New Deal accomplishments: Do conservatives who attack the New Deal actually know what America gained from it? - Slate Magazine

The New Deal physically reshaped the country. To this day, Americans still rely on its works for transportation, electricity, flood control, housing, and community amenities. The output of one agency alone, the Works Progress Administration, represents a magnificent bequest to later generations. The WPA produced, among many other projects, 1,000 miles of new and rebuilt airport runways, 651,000 miles of highway, 124,000 bridges, 8,000 parks, and 18,000 playgrounds and athletic fields; some 84,000 miles of drainage pipes, 69,000 highway light standards, and 125,000 public buildings built, rebuilt, or expanded. Among the latter were 41,300 schools.


The geeks are going nutso over Siri

The S*** that Apple's Siri says is beautiful | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

It can be a giddy experience when, on a first date, the lady you met on Match.com turns out to have a tongue saltier than than your Cobb Salad.

Autumn Creek

iPhone photo: Phil Compton

The best #OWS rant

"Occupy This!" by Old Fart Rants - YouTube

If you're a Teabagger, put on your powdered wig and tri-cornered hat for a little history lesson. The original Boston Tea Party, the one from the history books, was sparked by a corporate tax cut for a British corporation....

This means I don't have to pay my phone bill, right?

The Apocalypse Is Coming (Still) - National - The Atlantic Wire

Harold Camping, whose prediction that Judgment Day would occur in May doesn't seem to have panned out, isn't giving up hope that the end of the world is nigh.

In fact, he says it's going to arrive on Friday.

But the sun is getting colder day by day

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The answer

Here is one E.D. Kain, writing in Forbes:

Still, Adam’s [this would be one Adam Ozimek — see for yourself] larger point stands: if you don’t like the big banks, the best thing you can do as an individual is to stop giving them your money whenever possible. Bank with local banks and credit unions.

(Emphasis mine.)


And this would be Citibank:

Customers of Citibank were arrested yesterday after trying close down their bank accounts.

(The Economic Voice)

And they're still wondering why there are people in the streets waving signs?

Just about every day is a something day these days

Like, for example, National Food Day. Who knew food had a day, right? And it's coming up soon — just a week before Halloween, which is National Pig-Out day. Or maybe that's National Super Bowl Day. National Pig-Out Day, I mean. Next thing you know there'll be a day for water. Oh, wait. And air. And everything.

I wouldn't know all this stuff if they hadn't started putting advertising on bananas. Whose idea was that? On bananas? Is nothing sacred?

Fun and games with the shiny new toy

Seriously Chicago-challenged - chicagotribune.com

Finally, we asked Siri [the iPhone 4s' artificially intelligent "personal assistant"] -- a self-described California native -- "How can I survive the Chicago winter?" And we're not sure we liked its cryptic, somewhat ominous reply:

"I didn't find any places matching 'survive.'"

And it's all because Obama's been so mean to them

Romney besting Obama for Wall Street cash - St. Petersburg Times

It is no secret that the relationship between President Barack Obama and Wall Street has chilled. One striking measure of that is the latest campaign finance reports.

Mitt Romney has raised far more money than Obama this year from major Wall Street firms...