Let's just keep this quiet

I'm trying not to get all thrilled here because, you know, there's always the jinx factor, but we have a 40° week going, there is hardly any snow, and it sure does feel a lot more like March than January. This seems good.


Undernews: Company Obama citerd in SOTU speech just went bankrupt

Business Insider - Andrew Restuccia of The Hill is reporting that Ener1, a battery company that President Obama referenced in his State of The Union Speech on Tuesday as an example of successful energy investments, has just filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

That's just two days after the speech.…

No point in arguing

Time Traveler From The Year 1998 Warns Nation Not To Elect Newt Gingrich | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

WASHINGTON—Saying he came bearing an important message from the past, a stranger from the year 1998 appeared on the Capitol steps Thursday and urged voters not to elect Newt Gingrich president in 2012. "In the late 20th century, Newt Gingrich is a complete disgrace!" said the time-traveling man…

Rs, Ds can't agree on what they can't agree on

Obama, GOP blame each other for gridlock

Days after the State of the Union address, President Obama and the Republicans blamed each other for the sour mood in Washington, D.C., during a pair of dueling radio addresses Saturday.


Myself, I can't think of one

Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Republican Debate: You have to be realistic in your indignation / Trapped in a linguistics situation

There are few sights in American politics as absurd as that of Newton Gingrich pretending to seize the high moral ground.


OP(E...) by 76003
OP(E...), a photo by 76003 on Flickr.

Shut up!

2nd Mayor Says Obama ‘Wasn’t Tense At All’ During Brewer Encounter | TPMMuckraker

Out of the three officials who met President Obama on an airport tarmac near Phoenix earlier this week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is now the only one who has characterized the president as anything other than cordial.…

This story is an even bigger waste of perfectly good pixels than the R show, which, now that you mention it—OK, I guess I mentioned it, but anyway—I watched again last night. It's January. What else is there to do? Newt really needs to cut back on his meds a little, and the troll needs to learn another line. That little Ricky needs to go home and count his kids. And—sorry, Mittens—I will never vote for a guy who says "spot on." We speak English here. (OMG, it's rubbing off!)


Industry shills

Undernews: Obama pushing secret copyright treaty that would do the work of SOPA

Boing Boing - ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is the notorious, unprecedented secret copyright treaty that was negotiated by industry representatives and government trade reps, without any access by elected representatives, independent business, the press, public interest groups, legal scholars, independent economists and so on.…

And gentlemen in England now a-bed will think themselves accursed they were not here…

Barack Obama, prince of players | Odd Man Out

But give Obama his due. Watching him speak, I thought of the ideal leader — someone like Henry V as played by Lawrence Olivier, rousing the English troops before the battle of Agincourt. I believed Obama’s speech as he delivered it, just as I believed Olivier’s, but I knew both men were going home to bed after their performances, not into battle.


As Obama demands rich Americans pay more in taxes, the IRS reveals 36 Obama aides are far behind in their taxes by Andrew Malcolm - Investors.com

A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama's executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. These people working for Mr. Fair Share apparently haven't paid any share, let alone their fair share.


So it's not dead after all

Famous Job-Search Website Cuts 400 Jobs - Business - The Atlantic Wire

Irony alert: Monster.com says it's cutting 7 percent of its workforce (that's 400 jobs) after a crummy fourth quarter and dropping share prices.…


Robert Scheer: Obama’s Faux Populism Sounds Like Bill Clinton - Robert Scheer's Columns - Truthdig

There were, finally, some bold words in Obama’s speech about helping beleaguered homeowners, but they ring hollow given this administration’s efforts to broker a sweetheart deal between the leading banks and the state attorneys general that would see the banks fined only a pittance for their responsibility in the mortgage meltdown. Obama could have had success demanding mortgage relief if he had made that a condition for bailing out the banks. Now the banksters know he’s firing blanks, and they are placing their bets on their more reliable Republican allies to prevent any significant demand for helping homeowners with their underwater mortgages.



Undernews: Did Obama just kill cloud storage for computers?

Washingtons Blog - The government’s takedown of the 800 pound gorilla online storage site Megaupload may have killed the cloud storage model.

Many innocent users have had their data taken away from them.…

Bottom line: if your cloud service offers file storage on the front end and shows pirated video out the back, don’t be surprised if your files vanish one day.In other words, the government is exercising the power to seize all of the legal property held in a storage facility because a handful of crooks have illegal property in theirs.

"America's War on Sagging" suffers mission creep (or creepy)

If Pajamas Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Wear Pajamas - Lowering the Bar

Michael Williams, a commissioner for Caddo Parish (which includes Shreveport), says he was horrified when he visited a local Walmart and espied a group of young miscreants "wearing pajama pants and house shoes."…

"Pajamas are designed to be worn in the bedroom at night," said Williams, likely after extensive research on the history and design of pajamas. "If you can't [wear them to the] courthouse, why are you going to do it in a restaurant or in public?" (Um, because those aren't courthouses?) Williams also invoked the "slippery-slope" argument, of course. "Today it's pajamas," he said, "tomorrow it's underwear. Where does it stop?" Seems to me there's only one further step once you get to underwear. This guy is really not that imaginative. 

Not really the motto I would have in mind

Commercial airliner named in honor of Steve Jobs

A Virgin America Airbus A320 now has the quote, "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" emblazoned on its fuselage directly beneath the cockpit in tribute to late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.


Get a job

Oh, wait.

Working and Poor in the USA | Truthout

In 2011, the US Department of Labor reported at least 10 million people worked and were still below the unrealistic official US poverty line, an increase of 1.5 million more than the last time they checked.  The US poverty line is $18,530 for a mom and two kids.…

Indefinitely? Does that mean forever?

Rand Paul detained by TSA - Tim Mak - POLITICO.com

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) was detained Monday by the Transportation Security Administration in Nashville, Tenn. after refusing a full body pat-down, POLITICO has confirmed.

“I spoke with him five minutes ago and he was being detained indefinitely,” Paul spokesperson Moira Bagley said Monday morning. “The image scan went off, he refused patdown.”

Normally I would be sympathetic with some guy caught in this particular bind, but maybe just this one time not so much.

Really. I will try to be a better person tomorrow.

Et tu, Alberto?

EXCLUSIVE: Former Bush Attorneys General Call Gingrich Position On Courts 'Dangerous' | Fox News

Two former attorneys general under President George W. Bush have found a few things to like in Newt Gingrich's position paper on reining in the authority of the federal courts, but other parts, they say, are downright disturbing.


xkcd: Sustainable



iPhone photo: Phil Compton

Follow the money

Obama rainmakers enjoy White House invites, appointments and contracts | iWatch News

Dozens of Obama’s elite donors — many of them wealthy business figures — have been appointed to advisory panels and commissions that can play a role in setting government policy. Others have been invited to a range of exclusive White House briefings, holiday parties and splashy social events.

And some have snagged lucrative government contracts that benefit their business interests or investment portfolios, a Center for Public Integrity investigation has found.

Lede of the day

Undernews: Gingrich trounces Romney in South Carolina

Newt Gingrich, a certified liar and adulterer as well as the only Speaker of the House ever to be fined ($300,000) for unethical behavior, defeated Mitt Romney in South Carolina by 12 points after a last minute surge.