Somewhere between Yoknapatawpha County and Lake Wobegon

Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio is a collection of sometimes dark, almost gothic tales of midwestern small-town life near the turn of the 20th Century that collectively form one of the landmark works of American literature. And, it's a highly readable book. Available from Project Gutenberg (here and in our reading list) and, surely, elsewhere.

Some images you just can't un-see

Surging Ron Paul cuts into Newt Gingrich’s dream of winning Iowa caucus - NY Daily News

Surging Ron Paul


SEC Says Rudy Ruettiger Is A Stock Scammer - Forbes

To many football and movie fans, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger is a hero, an ordinary kid who overcame extraordinary odds through hard work and determination to become part of Notre Dame folklore.

The Securities & Exchange Commission, however, says Rudy Ruettiger has grown up to become a penny stock promoter and scammer.


Obama expects Congress to extend payroll tax cut for entire year when lawmakers return in 2012 - The Washington Post


Please make it stop

Presidential election 2012: Majority of Americans  want the campaign season to be over   - NY Daily News

There are more than 300 days until the presidential election--and most Americans already wish it was over.

A whopping 70% of respondents polled by USA Today/Gallup said they can't wait for the race to end, compared to just 26% who say they can't wait for it to begin.



Going There | Talking Points Memo

Amid the ongoing controversy over the ‘Fast and Furious’ gun-walking scandal, the NRA has been pushing a much more outlandish conspiracy theory — that the Obama administration created the program to lay the groundwork for taking away Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights.

Catching up with the Arcata police log

Vulgarians Meld Into Loonscape – December 12, 2011 | The Arcata Eye

Wednesday, November 2 8:48 p.m. It took a week for a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship to evolve from sweetness and light to hysteria and police involvement. Called to a Valley West motel where they were staying so as to stand by as the man collected his possessions, an officer found that he had already done so and the woman had been banned from the premises.
11:22 p.m. The conflicted couple was reported arguing in a Valley West parking lot, but within minutes had migrated to another nearby motel to continue negotiations.
Thursday, November 3 2:42 a.m. The same motel called about guests making a lot of noise in Room 133. They were evicted.
10:03 a.m. Police were called to a Valley West motel where an aggressive man in Room 122 had been acting violent and threatening the staff. He had to go, but the woman was allowed to stay.


High! Drama!

High Stakes, High Drama For Final Debate Before Voting Begins | Fox News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – It’s been 32 weeks since the first Republican presidential debate. Since then, a changing cast of contenders has faced off a dozen times across the country with millions watching at home.…


So then, why am I not entertained?

Undernews: Kardashians' talent finally explained

USA Today - [Barbara Walters] grilled Kris Jenner and her daughters Kourtney, Khloe and Kim Kardashian about having no talent. "You don't sing, you don't dance, you don't act. Forgive me, but you don't have any talent," said Walters to the gang.

"But we're still entertaining people," said Khloe.

No no no, Fox News…

Will Republicans Snatch Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory In 2012? | Fox News

With voting for the Republican presidential nomination starting in three holiday-shortened weeks…

…the way it works is, the weeks may have holidays in them (is it OK to use the word holidays here, Fox News?) but they are still exactly the same length as every other friggin' week.

Woohoo! Should have bet $20 Gs

Rasmussen poll shocker: Gingrich tanks in Iowa, Romney now on top - CSMonitor.com

Not so fast, Newt Gingrich. A new Rasmussen poll shows the former House speaker sinking below Mitt Romney in the firm’s latest survey of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa.

This could wind up being the longest-runnng TV variety show ever

5 things to watch in tonight's GOP debate

Seven GOP presidential candidates meet tonight for their final debate of the year…

[That would be the year 2011, not the year forever, if you were confused about that.]



When Jack Abramoff thinks you're a crook, well...

Abramoff: It’s easy to corrupt congressional staffers | The Raw Story

Abramoff added that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, now running for the presidency, had engaged in lobbying for the government-sponsored mortgage bank Freddie Mac. Gingrich had claimed he accepted payments of $1.6 million from the bank for serving as a “historian” and adviser. It didn’t seem to help, as the bank later accepted more than $72 billion in taxpayer bailouts.

In truth, Abramoff said, “Newt and others… say they’re strategic advisers, they say they’re giving general world vision views to these people, but [lobbying] is exactly what they’re doing.”

Free rent

Undernews: The return of debtors' prison

Think Progress - Federal imprisonment for unpaid debt has been illegal in the U.S. since 1833.…But as more Americans struggle to pay their bills in the wake of the recession, collection agencies are using harsher methods to get their money, ushering in the return of debtor’s prisons.

They're baaack

Despite some debate over whether or not it's actually recovered from the Deep Water Horizon spill, the Gulf of Mexico will soon welcome BP to start drilling under its waters.

Coming soon to a government near you?

Europe: Open Data: Turning Government Data into Gold « INFOdocket

The Commission has launched an Open Data Strategy for Europe, which is expected to deliver a €40 billion boost to the EU’s economy each year. Europe’s public administrations are sitting on a goldmine of unrealised economic potential: the large volumes of information collected by numerous public authorities and services. Member States such as the United Kingdom and France are already demonstrating this value.

Take all that government information and sell it, baby, sell it. 

Yeah, it's definitely a shoe-in now

Locking It Down | Talking Points Memo

Mitt Romney campaign announces the endorsement of Christine O’Donnell. Really.

Some hippies in Wisconsin want to save the trees or something



Stats are not forever

Five years of home sales to be revised lower in 'meaningful' way - chicagotribune.com

If you thought the U.S. housing market couldn't get much worse, think again.

Far fewer homes have been sold over the past five years than previously estimated, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.…

Wait! I'll take them!

U.S. Mint halts production of $1 coins -- no one wants them

The Mint says there are enough $1 coins sitting in Federal Reserve vaults to meet demand for a decade, and the inventory was on track to hit two billion by 2016.



Cheney calls for air strike on Iran over captured drone | The Raw Story

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said on Monday that President Barack Obama should have ordered an “air strike” on Iran after they recently captured a U.S. drone.

Obama gets Carterized by a crisis in Iran. And as you may recall, in the case of the Iran hostage crisis at the end of Carter's term, it turned out the R's were playing footsie with the Iranians behind the curtains all along. 

Now, Iran wants an apology (for a U.S. drone flying, intentionally or otherwise, into its airspace), which makes it all the better. You can just imagine how "Obama apologizes to Iran" goes down with the wackadoodles, right?

Apple takes cue from Captain Obvious

VIDEO: iPad 2 Says "Temp Too High" When Dumped in Lava

Honestly the stunt seems to be an expensive way to promote free iPhone cases, but it is rather amusing to watch the device burn down into a smoldering heap of melted components. Even more, the tablet actually displays the message "temperature is too high" as the molten rock digests its outset shell and glass.

Meanwhile, for our next trick...

Miami policeman drives car up light pole  - NY Daily News

According to WSVN, the man's fellow officers said they'd "never seen anything like it before." Officials are still investigating what caused the incident.


After the Frost

iPhone photo: Phil Compton

OK, wait, this is a joke, right?

Vocal Fry Isn't Just for College Girls http://t.co/aWKG0xSA
12/12/11 1:22 PM

Awwww, some poor guy at Forbes

Life Isn't Fair - Deal With It - Forbes

There seems to be a lot of talk these days about what is fair, and what is not. President Obama seems to believe life should be fair – that “everybody should have a fair shake.”...

(And you know where the rest of this is going, right?)

CC Mint post among "Best of Holidailies"

Chocolate Chip Mint: Somewhere Between Naughty And Nice

(More at Holidalies.)

Life is not fair to The Donald

Bitter Donald Trump Clings to His Debate - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

Donald Trump spent  this morning huffing and puffing the attempting to give his fizzling debate a last breath of relevancy by claiming credit for Romney's sagging numbers. Trump called into Fox & Friends on Monday morning spouting off about Romney's numbers were sagging because he turned down the debate and, of course, that Gingrich's are skyrocketing for saying yes.

Just trust us, say health care outfits

The weekly watchdog: Dec. 5 - Dec. 9 | iWatch News

Health insurers bank on poorly informed consumers, writes Senior Analyst Wendell Potter. He says the industry and its allies are lobbying the Obama administration to ignore the new health law’s requirement for clearer policy information, arguing that to comply will cost millions of dollars that insurers would have to pass on to consumers.


Cookies bite back

ABC News: Cookie Dough Linked to E. Coli Outbreak http://goo.gl/mag/SgWGQ

But no monkey business in the barracks

Conservatives and "homo-bestiality" - Sex - Salon.com

This week conservatives got all hot and bothered over bestiality – which they condemn, of course, but just can’t stop talking about.

Last week, the Senate voted to repeal an archaic military ban on sodomy that happens to also reference sex with animals.…right-wingers were quick to announce that the repeal of Article 125 meant bestiality was being legalized in the military.