Get a grip, weather guys

Severe Weather advisories from WeatherBug.com


Event Start: In Progress

Event End: Saturday, December 31, 2011 12:00 PM EST


This is New England here and it's the last day in December–do you really think we need to be advised the weather might get a little wintery today? Which, by the way, it didn't. As, it seems, you know. And isn't much likely to, except maybe in the wee hours of the new year, but even that should hardly be noticed because the next few days are forecast to be quite nice. The whole month of December, in these parts, was, if not exactly balmy, at least warmer than usual and much warmer than last year, which was setting records already by year's end. 

So hey, weather guys, take a deep breath or something, like take a nap.

What will we tell the children?

As prospects improve in Iowa, Mitt Romney stays on message - latimes.com

Mitt Romney stands in a chair while addressing voters in Mason City, Iowa.

[Wait. In?]


You know you're losing it…

Lake Superior State University :: Banished Words List

…when certain words or phrases are declared out and you didn't know they were ever in. 

If I get any more out of touch I might have to vote Republican.

Still, allow me to take issue with one Mike Cloran of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the whole gaggle of happy word Nazis at Lake Superior State University over banishing "Thanks in Advance." Nobody at Lake Superior State, I'm pretty sure, is old enough to remember those ancient days when network bandwith was so scarce and network time so expensive that sending an email for the sole purpose of saying thank you–for a favor done, a question answered, a service rendered–was seen as an outrageous waste. So "Thanks in Advance" (read, TIA) was a promise to not say thank you later, and (I seem to remember paying $6 an hour to use a service called CompuServe at 300bps) welcome.

So, have a heart, Lake Superior State University. The writer of TIA might just be some old clueless geezer trying to be nice.


Apparently it's contagious

G.O.P. Field Has Broad Views on Executive Power - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — Even as they advocate for limited government, many of the Republican presidential candidates hold expansive views about the scope of the executive powers they would wield if elected — including the ability to authorize the targeted killing of United States citizens they deem threats and to launch military attacks without Congressional permission.

I bet you've been wondering how you ever missed this one, isn't that right, Bunky?

Hulu - Earth Girls Are Easy - Watch the full movie now.

Earth Girls Are Easy melds the best of alien-invasion films and musicals…

Well, now you haven't.


Muslim Police Break Up Christian Broomstick Fight in Bethlehem - Lowering the Bar

So it's not surprising that an unauthorized broom incursion ("accidental" or not) could spark violence, as seen above. And you really should watch the clip, not only to witness the spectacle of priests and monks beating the crap out of each other with broomsticks over who owns the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, but also to see the monk recording the whole thing with his smartphone.

Follow the money

From OpenSecrets.org
Posted by Picasa

Santorumentum? Ya think?

News from The Associated Press

Rep. Ron Paul, drawing big crowds, got a surprise endorsement Wednesday night from Rep. Michele Bachmann's now-former state chairman. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who has languished for months, suddenly seems to have momentum, just as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may be losing his.

I walk out of the grocery store this afternoon…

…behind a woman pushing a cart full to the brim with bags, all bulging with purchases, and once outside she meets another woman, presumably a chance encounter with a friend, and she speaks to this other woman as follows:

"I just came here for noodles."

Political correctness comes to the grocery store

I liberated a whole box of these little guys, but there are many, many more that need your help.


Whose Welfare? - NYTimes.com

Offshoot groups created by partisan gurus — Karl Rove pioneered the practice — claim the 501(c)(4) status as do-gooders that allows them to keep the names of their donors secret, unlike traditional political operations. Democrats are hard at this secret megamoney race, too, with Obama campaign veterans politicking as the supposedly independent and socially minded Priorities USA.


OK then, maybe I'll just go back to bed

Feel Free to Ignore Iowa - NYTimes.com

To summarize: On Tuesday, there will be a contest to select the preferred candidate of a small group of people who are older, wealthier and whiter than American voters in general, and more politically extreme than the average Iowa Republican. The whole world will be watching. The cookies will be excellent.

They can't shoot straight either

GOP rivals trade fire in Iowa, much of it aimed at Ron Paul - latimes.com

And you want guys like this running around with real guns?

From the ridiculous to the sublime in Iowa

Bachmann's state campaign chair quits, endorses Paul - Iowa State Daily: Caucus 2012

"I think all of us agree on one proposition and that is we have to have the best candidate to take on Barack Obama and end his reign of terror in the United States," Bachmann said.



The days are getting longer: What could possibly go wrong?

It's a little below 30º here as we speak and we've had a very, very strong wind all afternoon. Flags are flapping. (I don't know if this has happened to the rest of the country but around here flags–I'm not talking national flags, unless you count the Red Sox, but cutesy flags that say "Hello" and other equally non-commital stuff and have pictures of snowmen or elves on them, that kind of thing–are all the rage. We don't have any on our house of course, being so far out on the leading edge of trendiness we are already past all that stuff. But still.

What I was saying was, I spent a lot of time last month tightening up the windows and it's paying off right now. There is no draftiness I can notice and–here's a bonus worth the price–not one of the windows is rattling. At all. In fact, I didn't even know how windy it really is until I went out for the mail. Sure, there's a little cold around the windows, but that's because some dummy put glass in them, not because the wind is blowing through. Let's hear it for cozy, then.

Also, the days are getting longer. So maybe it will get cold, but how long can that last?

And, take my word for it, next year will be even more fun

After promising no teleprompters, Bachmann reads speech from iPad instead | The Raw Story

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has found a loophole in her pledge not to use teleprompters.

At a campaign stop in Creston, Iowa Wednesday, the candidate read her campaign speech directly from an iPad tablet computer.

You've done this, right?

You go to the grocery store, or the drugstore, or the convenience store. With a list. You buy everything on the list and bring it home. And then you discover the one thing you went to the store in the first place for, the one reason you went out, was not on the list and so you didn't buy it and now you have to go back again.


A really bad night in Pennsylvania

Man Calls 911 to Report Hookers' Breach of Contract - Lowering the Bar

The defendant said he was able to get in just one grope, and that "following that act, the two females took his money and left ...." That is indeed disappointing, but the 911 call to report it was ill-advised. First, it wasn't an emergency; second; it might not even have been a crime; but most importantly, third, reporting it involved an admission of guilt. This was not lost on the officer, who then "informed the Defendant that he was under arrest for Patronization of Prostitution." The man was apparently then booked and released.

From which he learned nothing at all.…

Gingrich, now, will fire all the judges and the state of Virginia

Newt Gingrich-Virginia primary 2012: Newt’s scramble to make it on ballot may come up short.

Gingrich's campaign has already responded, calling the Virginia primary process a "failed system," the AP reports. 

Matt Taibbi on the poor, persecuted 1%

A Christmas Message From America's Rich | | Rolling Stone

it seems to me that if you’re broke enough that you’re not paying any income tax, you’ve got nothing but skin in the game.

EFF chronicles "The Year Secrecy Jumped the Shark"

2011 in Review: The Year Secrecy Jumped the Shark | Electronic Frontier Foundation

President Obama accepts a transparency award…behind closed doors.

And a whole lot more.


Now it can be told

When Americans banned Christmas - The Week


No we can't

Jeff Connaughton: Obama and the Rule of Law

The President is confusing "legal" with "difficult to prosecute successfully." The Justice Department's repeated decisions not to risk losing at trial against Wall Street executives don't make these person's actions legal. (If a district attorney can't prove the actual thief stole your wallet, that doesn't make stealing legal. It simply means that, regrettably, a malefactor goes unpunished.) As Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami said in Senate testimony in 2009, Wall Street perpetrators "are smart people who understand that they are crossing the line" and "are plotting their defense at the same time they're committing their crime."

In from the cold

Decades later, a Cold War secret is revealed | CanadianBusiness.com

From 1971 to 1986 a total of 20 satellites were launched, each containing 60 miles of film and sophisticated cameras that orbited the earth snapping vast, panoramic photographs of the Soviet Union, China and other potential foes. The film was shot back through the earth's atmosphere in buckets that parachuted over the Pacific Ocean, where C-130 Air Force planes snagged them with grappling hooks.


I do not care, said Pierre

Dude. I just wanted to say that sentence into my voice recognition software.

Keeping the evil spirits away until the sun comes back

Yes, it is our House. And the person who puts the lights up every year, Tom, is being celebrated far and wide, or at least here at this address, for getting them exactly right this year.

Democrats seem to think you can solve all the problems in the world by just talking about them

U.S. urges dialogue over Iraqi crisis | Reuters

(Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden spoke by telephone on Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki about violence in Baghdad and a political crisis that has erupted in the week since the last American troops left Iraq.

New to our Work Avoidance list

I'm not really a big fan of those best-of, worst-of lists, but here's one that is worth taking a look at. It's a list of "best" Internet posts during the previous year or, in other words, a list of some stuff worth reading.

The Browser | Writing Worth Reading