And things just got worse from there

Shape-Shifting Donkey Prostitute Strikes Again - Lowering the Bar

The man, who had been arrested for being intimate with a donkey, admitted the conduct in question but claimed that the donkey had not been a donkey when he met her at a nightclub last Saturday night, but rather a prostitute.

The spinach of shame

A month or so ago, when there was a hurricane scheduled to blow through here and therefore a possibility of power lines blown down, I decided it was time to lay in a winter-level stock of food that required neither refrigeration nor cooking to be useful, so I bought the customary few cans of beans and SPAM and peanut butter and an extra box of crackers and then, in a spasm of health-guilt, I decided I really ought to get some kind of vegetable as well. And I bought a can of spinach. Really. Who buys canned spinach, right? Go ahead and laugh. Even the woman at the check-out did. 

That can has been leering at me from the second shelf of my kitchen cabinet ever since, impossible to ignore. I can't take it any more. So I'm going to heat the stuff up and eat it tonight.

Don't tell.

This kind of stuff is not really news any more

Wells Fargo is not your amigo - Bank Reform - Salon.com

The banking giant preys on minorities while its executives donate to anti-immigration Republicans

Competence: The horror!

Just like Dukakis, Romney is taking the fun out of New Hampshire - War Room - Salon.com

George Will has lately taken to branding Mitt Romney the Republican equivalent of Michael Dukakis — “a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from ‘data’ … and who believes elections should be about (in Dukakis’ words) ‘competence,’ not ‘ideology.’”

Dancing on YA grave

Bin Laden capture was an uncorker of an event - latimes.com

The U.S. government offered a $25-million bounty for Osama bin Laden, but there was a lesser-known enticement for then-CIA chief Leon Panetta: a sip or two of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1870, one of the world's most celebrated wines.

Is this the most fatuous headline ever written?

Police tactics in Occupy Oakland raid questioned - Boing Boing


Oh give it a rest

Northeast braces for early season snowfall | Reuters

(Reuters) - A rare October winter storm was expected to blanket parts of the Northeast with nearly a foot of snow over the weekend, forecasters said on Friday.

I can't remember which side we're cheering for here

The murder brigades of Misrata - Libya - Salon.com

More than 100 militia brigades from Misrata have been operating outside of any official military and civilian command since Tripoli fell in August. Members of these militias have engaged in torture, pursued suspected enemies far and wide, detained them and shot them in detention, Human Rights Watch has found. Members of these brigades have stated that the entire displaced population of one town, Tawergha, which they believe largely supported Gadhafi avidly, cannot return home.

And they say it like it's a bad thing

GOP: Warren is the ‘Matriarch of Mayhem’ for ‘anti-capitalist’ Occupy movement | The Raw Story

Republicans in Massachusetts have chosen a confusing line of attack on Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat who helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and is now challenging Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA).

They’re calling her, for some reason, the “Matriarch of Mayhem”...

And this actually counts?

House shows rare bipartisanship in jobs bill's contractor vote - latimes.com

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to repeal a tax on government contractors, easily advancing a small slice of President Obama's jobs bill in a move hailed as rare bipartisan cooperation.

The bill repealing a not-yet-imposed 3% withholding tax passed overwhelmingly on a  405-16 vote.

Emphasis mine.

Yo ho ho - but look out, it might be loaded

Cannon pulled from pirate Blackbeard's ship, Queen Anne's Revenge - latimes.com

Pirate freaks, rejoice: After spending 300 years beneath the sea, a 13th cannon was pulled from the wreckage of Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, on Wednesday.

Whether the cannon contains a cannonball has yet to be determined. Four of the previous 12 cannons were  still loaded when hauled out of the Atlantic.


How low the bar

No double-dip recession: U.S. GDP growth 2.5% in third quarter

In fact, it grew 2.5 percent at an annual rate between June and September, its highest rate in a year. That’s a significant improvement from the 0.4 percent growth rate in the first quarter and 1.3 percent in the second quarter, figures which had led to fears of a “double-dip.”

Occupy the Senate

Massachusetts to Elizabeth Warren: Will Work For Free - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

Check out this photo of a volunteer meeting for the Elizabeth Warren campaign that's being passed around today. Warren is running against incumbent Scott Brown for a Massachusetts Senate seat, and her campaign says that at a meeting for volunteers on Tuesday, about 500 people showed up.

Mightier than the sword

Gov. Scott Walker to allow guns in Capitol, but photos still banned | The Raw Story

A new plan crafted by Gov. Scott Walker (R) would allow guns in most of Wisconsin’s state Capitol, while most photos would still be banned.

But wait - cheap beer!

CHART OF THE DAY: How The Recession Turned Us Into A Nation Of Teetotaling Canned-Veggie Fiends | TPMDC

Three trees

iPhone photo: Phil Compton

The shaker wars begin

Groups Question Federal Guidelines on Food : Roll Call Lobbying & Influence

In the face of a federal push to restrict salt in food production, the industry’s trade association has launched a pro-salt campaign that it describes as its most aggressive challenge ever to federal research.


Until tomorrow, at least

Mitt Romney is '110% behind' Ohio law limiting union power - latimes.com


Oh come on, tell us what you really think

Rick Perry: The Best Little Whore In Texas | Politics News | Rolling Stone

Perry's campaign is still struggling to recover from the kind of spectacular, submarine-at-crush-depth collapse seldom seen before in the history of presidential politics. The governor went from presumptive front-runner to stammering talk-show punch line seemingly in the speed of a single tweet, rightly blasted for being too incompetent even to hold his own in televised debates with a half-bright pizza salesman like Herman Cain and a goggle-eyed megachurch Joan of Arc like Michele Bachmann.

Eewww. File under stuff I never finished reading

Don't have many Facebook friends? Blame it on your brain

New research in Proc B has found that the amount of grey matter in specific areas of our brain is correlated to the number of friends we have on Facebook...

And does anybody really care?

Was Shakespeare really Shakespeare? - William Shakespeare - Salon.com

Of course, on the other hand, maybe we could start a rumor that Obama was Shakespeare, how cool would that be?

Oh right. The ball. Keep eyes on.

"We the People," Not "We the Corporations" | Truthout

In a black-robed coup against our democracy, the Supremes ruled that a corporation's money is "speech" and that CEOs may dump unlimited sums of it into their own ad campaigns to elect or defeat any candidates they choose.

Destroying forever the word, "potential"

Loaded guns in checked bags aren't on TSA's radar - latimes.com

Bags checked at airline counters are scanned for possible explosives but not for loaded guns.

The potential loophole...


Do not try this at home

Bay Area man gets stuck in baby swing at park for nine hours - latimes.com


I know, I know...

…I've posted pictures of this rose bush before but I walk past it just about every day and I like it, and today the light was just right. So deal with it.
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This whole thing

OWS's Beef: Wall Street Isn't Winning It's Cheating | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

The point being: we have a massive police force in America that prosecutes crime and imprisons citizens with factory-level efficiency, eclipsing the incarceration rates of most of history's more notorious police states and communist countries.

But the bankers on Wall Street don't live in that police state. There are maybe 1000 SEC agents policing that sector of the economy, plus a handful of FBI agents. There are nearly that many police officers stationed around the polite crowd at Zucotti park. 

  These inequities are what drive the OWS protests. People don't want handouts. It's not a class uprising and they don't want civil war -- they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It's amazing that some people think that that's asking a lot.

Where the factory was

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Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Ten years of Windows XP: how longevity became a curse

Windows XP's retail release was October 25, 2001, ten years ago today....even now, a slim majority of desktop users are still using the operating system.

You thought they could swim?

Giant Lego Man washes ashore in Florida – Boing Boing

(This is funny.)

Perfect: You can not possibly, under any circumstances, get better publicity for your movie than this

Advocates: Former FBI Agents Maybe A Little Too Worried That J. Edgar Hoover Might Have Been Gay | TPMMuckraker

Former FBI agents have a message for Hollywood: J. Edgar Hoover wasn’t gay…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

It's official as far as Simon is convened: Obama is a better killer than Dubya. Cheaper, too.

Barack Obama gets no credit for protecting nation - Roger Simon - POLITICO.com

Obama just won a war. Whether by leading from behind, in front or sideways, the victory by the Libyan rebels in toppling Muammar Qadhafi would have been impossible without U.S. money, more than 5,000 U.S. missions flown, 1,200 airstrikes, 100 Predator strikes, and even B-2 Stealth bomber attacks launched from Missouri. We also had CIA agents on the ground, but we’ll probably never know what they did. America did not act alone — we acted with NATO — but a win is a win, and Obama’s victory did not cost this country a single U.S. life....

Oh, yeah. Almost forgot that one. Obama launched a daring raid into Pakistan to kill bin Laden in May. And let’s not forget the killing of master terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki in September in Yemen with a drone-launched Hellfire missile, or the rescue of an American sea captain from Somali pirates by Navy SEALS in April 2009.

It's true, I'm getting a little dizzy over Libya. I thought we got out of it – oh no! it's NATO, we're just helping! – but now it's more like NATO gave us a hand but that's OK, we still won...however you cut it, that list of hardware is some pretty substantial help. Not to mention OMG! CIA!

Still, that Obama guy sure does do a lot of killing and gets no friggin' credit for it, Simon says.


Iraq war: Mission failed - Iraq war - Salon.com

If ever there were a complete foreign policy disaster, it has been the Iraq war. Most foreign policy failures are imperfect idiocy. At least elements of the failed policy made sense at the time. By invading Iraq, the U.S. carried idiocy to perfection. The Iraq war was a catastrophe for the United States in every way—strategic, economic, political and moral.

Now, an "app gap"

Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children, Study Finds - NYTimes.com

The study, by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco nonprofit group, is the first of its kind since apps became widespread, and the first to look at screen time from birth. It found that almost half the families with incomes above $75,000 had downloaded apps specifically for their young children, compared with one in eight of the families earning less than $30,000. More than a third of those low-income parents said they did not know what an “app” — short for application — was.

More! More! More!

U.S. Sen. John McCain: Could it be time to intervene in Syria? - chicagotribune.com

With NATO bombing of Libya set to end, U.S. Sen. John McCain on Sunday raised the possibility of some kind of military attack on Syria...

Two to tango

Lawmakers weigh tax breaks, penalties for business - chicagotribune.com

Chicago's financial exchanges would see a 50 percent decrease in their Illinois corporate income tax bills under legislation introduced Monday afternoon by Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago.


Preckwinkle wants to raise Cook County taxes on tobacco, beer, cars - chicagotribune.com

Cook County [Chicago] Board President Toni Preckwinkle will ask commissioners to raise taxes on alcohol, tobacco products and cars and to lay off more than 1,000 workers under a budget blueprint she rolled out Monday.


The perils of preemptive surrender

Next Act In DC’s Kabuki Theater: House GOP Lays Trap For Obama On Jobs Plan | TPMDC

The House GOP has hit upon a way to undercut President Obama’s attacks on them and advance conservative policy goals all at once. This week, they’ll pass legislation that includes perhaps the least stimulative measure in President Obama’s jobs bill and pay for it with perhaps the most regressive measure in a recent package of deficit reducing proposals he submitted to the joint deficit super committee.


No, I do not want to know this


The Atlantic Wire
Indulgent consumers are buying more handbags, fewer diapers


Zachary Kanin: 2012 Forecast : The New Yorker

The autumn that never quite arrived

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The summer gone

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"Oddity" would be generous

Administration deports record number of illegal immigrants

From Oct. 1, 2010, to the end of last month, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials deported 396,906 illegal immigrants, the highest number for similar periods in the agency's history, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer....

The piece refers to the phenomenon as "an oddity of the Obama years," adding that, "A president who wants new pathways to legal residency for millions of undocumented immigrants is deporting them at a record rate

Turkish tanks move on N.Iraq, near PKK camp -sources

Turkish tanks move on N.Iraq, near PKK camp -sources


More secret war

Read the fine print: The Iraq war isn't over - Iraq war - Salon.com

U.S. withdrawal leaves 5,000 mercenaries on the ground and the State Department's private air force in the skies.



Can We Finally Stop Predicting the Death of Game Consoles? - SlashGear


Do not mess with the nurses

Nurses to picket City Hall over arrests at Occupy Chicago protest - chicagotribune.com

"It was the wrong move," RoseAnn DeMoro, the group's executive director, said Sunday. "We were there to make sure if the occupiers get harmed, they have first aid."

Obama to do what he could have done two years ago

Obama to bypass Congress on mortgages - CBS News

President Obama is going to begin a series of executive branch actions that will not require action from Congress - or the assent of Republicans.

So much for rocket science

Defunct German Satellite ROSAT Reenters, But Where? | TPM Idea Lab

The defunct German x-ray sky surveying satellite ROSAT crashed to earth in an uncontrolled free fall between 9:45 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. ET Saturday, October 24...

Still, the agency doesn’t know precisely where the satellite fell or where any surviving debris might have landed...

“But if it had come down over a populated area there probably would be reports by now,” he told the AP.

Be on the lookout for this guy

Man Allegedly Beat Woman with Frozen Armadillo

DALLAS - A man used a frozen armadillo to attack a 57-year old Pleasant Grove woman, Dallas police said....

Detectives have been unable to find the man...



Thinking inside the box

iPhone photo: Phil Compton

Is you is or is you ain't

Muammar Qaddafi’s Death and Republican Politics : The New Yorker

[Obama] has drawn down forces in Iraq and Afghanistan; awakened to the miserable realities of Pakistan and Iran; and, most recently, played a crucial role, without loss of American lives, in the overthrow of the world’s longest-reigning dictator.

Maybe, maybe, maybe, and it's going to be really difficult to walk the line between "it was all NATO's war" and "yea, we did it, woohoo!" 

I'm just waiting for the rant about whether Obama is a better killer than Dubya was. 

Day off

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Why computer voices are mostly female - CNN.com

...in almost all GPS navigation systems on the market, the default voice is female. One notable exception has been Germany, where BMW was forced to recall a female-voiced navigation system on its 5 Series cars in the late 1990s after being flooded with calls from German men saying they refused to take directions from a woman.

In Iowa, 310 percent

Iowans spread blame for economy | The Des Moines Register | DesMoinesRegister.com

Poll highlights

Who is hurting U.S. job creation: 59 percent, Republicans in Congress; 56 percent, big business; 52 percent, congressional Democrats; 50 percent, tea party supporters; 46 percent, labor; and 45 percent, President Barack Obama.