"Strange" just barely covers it

Pictures Of Mitt Romney Confusing Children | TPM Media

Strange though it may seem, people seem to love handing their children to politicians…

Really, really rich dirty Commie wants to take away your Constitutional right to shoot squirrels in Times Square, also defend yourself when they come after you with those big butterfly nets of theirs

Super Bowl ad makes New York Mayor Bloomberg gun control king - CSMonitor.com

With little political capital to lose and millions of his own cash to spend, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is determined to check the role of guns in American society.

A 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring Mr. Bloomberg on a couch with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will go a long way toward cementing Bloomberg as the king of gun control as the billionaire turns from attacking transfats and smoking to cracking down on illicit sales of firearms, too many of which he says end up in the hands of violent criminals.…

Alright! Maybe we can work in a quick war in Syria before Iran!

President #Obama: Assad must halt his campaign of killing. He must step aside and allow democratic transition immediately. #Syria
2/4/12 11:30 AM

I guess he really does like to fire people

Romney Camp Fires New Debate Coach After Concern He Took Too Much Credit For Romney's Turnaround | TPM Livewire

…the Romney campaign has fired Brett O’Donnell, the former aide to Michele Bachmann who came on as Romney's new debate coach after South Carolina.

Quite the excellent book, pip pip

The Meaning of Everything | Simon Winchester
THE MEANING OF EVERYTHING is a scintillating account of the creation of the greatest monument erected to a living language.
We all knew, didn't we, writing a dictionary is a monumental undertaking, especially a dictionary of a messy, expressive, continually changing language like English, but we didn't know (believe me, we had no idea) just how monumental until we read Simon Winchester's "The Meaning of Everything," the story of the Oxford English Dictionary. The OED is a book (or more accurately, set of books) on which work began in about 1860 and which has been published in its full, bound, printed glory only twice, in 1928 and 1989. This book is the story of how it was done (and how it's still being done—a new edition is expected "sometime in the early 21st Century," which is more or less pretty soon).

Also, it's a book full of cool, stuffy English stuff, so it's worth reading just for that, right there.

Don't wait for the Feds

Schneiderman Sues Three Big Banks, MERS for Deceptive Practices, Illegal Foreclosures | FDL News Desk

“The banks created the MERS system as an end-run around the property recording system, to facilitate the rapid securitization and sale of mortgages. Once the mortgages went sour, these same banks brought foreclosure proceedings en masse based on deceptive and fraudulent court submissions, seeking to take homes away from people with little regard for basic legal requirements or the rule of law,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.…

Schneiderman joins Biden, Catherine Cortez Masto, Lisa Madigan and Martha Coakley with active lawsuits that touch on the post-bubble conduct that a foreclosure fraud settlement would release liability for, at least with respect to the big banks.


Why run if you can't play?

Newt's Having Fun in Nevada While It Lasts - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

Newt Gingrich is polling very far behind Mitt Romney in Nevada, whose caucuses are Saturday, but that doesn't mean he can't enjoy all the drunken buffoonery the Silver State has to offer. Gingrich played to a happy crowd in a Reno brewery earlier this week -- happy because, as the Las Vegas Sun's Anjeanette Damon reports, they were wasted. When the sound system faced technical difficulties, a man in the back shouted, "It’s alright. We’re all drunk." Friday's venue was even better: Stoney's Rockin' Country in Las Vegas, which offers dance lessons and bikini bull riding.

The Feds won't, but this guy will

New York Attorney General Announces Lawsuit Against Major Banks | TPM Livewire

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Friday that he filed a lawsuit against some of the nation's largest banks -- including Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase Bank -- over the creation and use of an electronic mortgage registry system. 

File under Stuff We Never Finished Reading

John Steinbeck Also Hated Hollywood; A Siri Romance Novel - Entertainment - The Atlantic Wire

If you've been hankering to read a love story about a man falling in love with Siri, the tiny robot voice that lives in iPhone…

This, believe it or not, is a photo of a tooth-flossing party (really) held somewhere in Michigan in the early 90's

(No, officer, I've never seen them before.)
Posted by Picasa

Awwww, and he tried so hard

Obama Wall Street Fundraising Evaporates As Donors Flee To Romney

President Barack Obama has been abandoned by the world of finance.…


Before your ears go all fuzzy over that 8.3 unemployment rate…

Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low | ZeroHedge

A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. No, that's not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month! So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation.

[Emphasis in original. See link for graphs.]

La-La Land

LA cops: Catwoman flees after Jack Sparrow hurt - US news - Crime & courts - msnbc.com

Several people dressed as movie characters got into a brawl on Hollywood Boulevard that ended with a man dressed as "Pirates of the Caribbean" character Capt. Jack Sparrow being pepper-sprayed, according to police.…

The Los Angeles Times reported that officers were searching the streets after Catwoman, the alien and a second pirate — or at least people in those costumes — fled the scene.

The paper said that in September that someone dressed as SpongeBob Square Pants was held by police after a fracas involving two women in the Hollywood area; a separate incident saw Spider-Man taken away in handcuffs.



Geeks at the gates

Wikipedia Has a List of Lists of Lists and Achieves Nirvana | Geekosystem

Friends, believe me when I say that Wikipedia has a List of Lists of Lists. And, most beautifully, it not only links to a list of lists, but also to itself. This, dear readers, is the information singularity. Wikipedia has attained nirvana.

Before it gets too deep in here, a note

The Deal That Saved Detroit and Banned Strikes » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

To review: in the fall of 2008, President George W Bush announced a $17.billion loan, split into $13.4 billion at once and another $4 billion in February. The billions for Detroit were tied tight with all the string that had not been attached to the trillions simply given away to Wall St.…

I was, and still am, a supporter of bailing out the auto companies, not only to save the skins of Chrysler and GM but also to save the vast ecosystem of manufacturers contributing to that enterprise, but the rescue came at an enormous cost to auto industry workers in the U.S. Read the story linked above for more.

Apparently "planned layoffs" are not as bad as just being out on your ass

Planned layoffs surge in January: Challenger | Reuters

(Reuters) - The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms surged in January to its highest level in four months as retailers and financial firms cut jobs, a report on Thursday showed.

 Employers announced 53,486 planned job cuts last month, up 28 percent from 41,785 in December, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Well, more delicate, at least.


Santorum to sick kid: Don’t complain about $1 million drug costs | The Raw Story

"I sympathize with these compassionate cases. … I want your son to stay alive on much-needed drugs. Fact is, we need companies to have incentives to make drugs. If they don’t have incentives, they won’t make those drugs. We either believe in markets or we don’t.”

If some people will pay $900 for an iPad, he tells mother of sick kid, why should you bitch about paying $900 for drugs? 

What a jerk.

Really? So that means…

Treasure hunter claims $3B in platinum on British ship wrecked off Mass. coast - NYPOST.com

CAPE COD, Mass. -- US treasure hunters have claimed platinum valued at more than $3 billion from the sunken remains of a British ship torpedoed during World War II off Cape Cod, Mass.

…Facebook might be worth 25 shiploads of platinum? Or more? Seriously? More?

Facebook IPO filing puts high value on social network – USATODAY.com

The mammoth initial public stock offering values the social-networking giant at $75 billion to $100 billion and has been eagerly anticipated as a defining moment for the latest Web-investing boom.

Yes! And by the way, darlin', that poor Zuckerberg fellow is being forced—forced, we say—to do this and is just not going to have much fun any more, poor guy.

So does all this mean we are well and truly screwed?

American Airlines plans to cut 13,000 jobs, eliminate traditional pensions to cut costs - The Washington Post

DALLAS — The parent of American Airlines wants to eliminate about 13,000 jobs — 15 percent of its workforce — as the nation’s third-biggest airline remakes itself under bankruptcy protection.

The company proposes to end its traditional pension plans, a move strongly opposed by the airline’s unions and the U.S. pension-insurance agency, and to stop paying for retiree health benefits.


AMR Corp. said Wednesday that it must cut labor costs by 20 percent.…



Rhythmic Symmetry

iPhone photo abstract: Phil Compton

Go head, tell us how you really feel

French courts slaps Google with $660,000 fine for offering free map services - SlashGear

A French court has fined Google in one has to be has to be one of the most idiotic court cases I’ve ever heard of.

Much more of this and everybody walks

AP Exclusive: U.S. No-Fly List Doubles in 1 Year - TIME

(WASHINGTON) — Even as the Obama administration says it's close to defeating al-Qaida, the size of the government's secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States has more than doubled in the past year, The Associated Press has learned.


Android users more likely to put out • The Register

Android users are more likely to be slutty, it transpires – having more one night stands, signing up to dating sites more often and being more likely to have sex on a first date, according to a Match.com survey of single Canadian mobile users.…

On the delicate question of first-date sex, the difference between smartphone-owning singles is statistically slight: 62 per cent of Android them say they’ve had sex after one date compared to 57 per cent of iPhone users - it's the Blackberry owners who stand out with only 48 percent saying that they have.

[YA public service from YA Media Empire]

But in Fort Yukon, minus 66 degrees

Where's the snow? Not in Lower 48, but elsewhere - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Snow has been missing in action for much of the U.S. the last couple months. But it's not just snow. It's practically the season that's gone AWOL.

"What winter?" asked Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center. For the Lower 48, January was the third-least snowy on record, according to the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University. Records for the amount of ground covered by snow go back to 1967.

If you can make your Al Gore jokes in one of those scary European socialist languages—or in Alaskan—go for it, but if you live in the Lower 48 you might as well just play golf. And while we may, of course, still have a substantial blast of cold air and snow in store, it is Groundhog Day, so dreaming is allowed. 

Bonus: Nothing is going to make certain relics of our aquaintance [names withheld] feel older faster than talk about snow records that "go back to 1967."


Light at the end of the tunnel

Livewire | TPM

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the U.S. plans to end its combat role in Afghanistan in 2013, according to a New York Times breaking news alert.

Oh wait. Wrong war.

Throw the bums out, every one

Tanning Salons, Like Teenage Boys, Will Completely Lie to Teenage Girls - National - The Atlantic Wire

A new congressional report out today found that tanning salons say anything to get customers into their beds, but in order to get this valuable information congressional investigators even went so far as to pretending they were pale teenage girls.


First things first, dude

Daily Kos: House Republicans will vote to keep people out of strip clubs ... but still no jobs bill

A bill that GOP leaders are bringing to the House floor Wednesday would require states to prevent welfare recipients from accessing or spending their benefits at strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores.

Mittens reminds me of an Ian Fleming novel: The Man With the Tin Ear

'Self-Deportation' Really Is a Joke - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

If Mitt Romney's proposed "self-deportation" for illegals seems like some kind of political joke taken too far, that's because it kind of is. In fact, the phrase comes from a couple of comedians who coined it while protesting a California immigration measure in 1994, and The New York Times Lede blog proposed on Wednesday that they introduced it into the political lexicon for the first time. 

Get a horse

Big Jobs Cuts Follow Bankruptcy at American Airlines - Business - The Atlantic Wire

Capping off an pretty unstellar three months, American Airlines is cutting between 10,000 and 15,000 and ending its employee pension plan. Union leaders apparently learned the bad news in a meeting today with the airlines top brass to talk jobs, pensions, and benefits after the company went Chapter 11 in November.

But not to worry too much, Atlantic Wire says, because just about every other airline has done the same thing. In the last ten years. 

Woohoo! Crazy is as crazy does

Livewire | TPM

Mitt Romney is heading to Minnesota to participate in a “grassroots rally” apparently as part of the campaign’s effort to win Michele Bachmann’s endorsement, the Boston Globe reports.

Government for sale: Follow the bidders

Consider the Source | iWatch News by The Center for Public Integrity

The 2012 election will be the most expensive and least transparent presidential campaign of the modern era. The Center’s 'Consider the Source' project seeks to ‘out’ shadowy political organizations that have flourished in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Stay tuned through Election Day for the narrative behind the flow of money and how the election is influencing a flood of new spending.

Excellent coverage of the money behind the mess is also provided by opensecrets.org.

On British conspiracy theories, and more

The Freedom of (Ridiculous) Information Act at Work - Lowering the Bar

It is a little irritating, I imagine, to be told that you can't take home a piece of wood from a park because of the risk of interfering with a fungus. Still, at least they get a pleasant response to their inquiries in the UK. Over here, this would probably get you put on a terrorist watch list.

You probably have to be a geezer to appreciate this, but…

The Best of The Ed Sullivan Show - Full Episodes and Clips streaming online - Hulu

The Ed Sullivan Show" was a TV variety series that ran from 1948 to 1971. It aired on CBS every Sunday night at 8 PM. Virtually every type of entertainment appeared on the show: opera singers, rock bands, Broadway performers, comedians, dancers, sports stars and novelty acts from around the world.

…if you are a geezer, here are a half-dozen episodes of the old Ed Sullivan Show. One, in particular, features a generous selection of the most accomplished operatic singers of the mid-twentieth century. And then of course there's Topo Gigio. 

Mittmentum! Plus, awww poor Newt

Romney, Paul Hold the Cards in Nevada - WSJ.com

Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul were the top two finishers in Nevada in the party's 2008 presidential primary, and both have maintained their ties to the state and their campaign organizations. That makes Nevada ill-suited to providing rival candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum with the shot of political adrenaline they will need after Florida's vote.

Also, is there any law against eating a chicken sandwich for breakfast? No, there is not.


I bet you wish you'd never read this, right?

7 Best TSA 'Aha Moments': Strange Things at Airport Security - ABC News

You really have to find something strange to beat the best airport security catch of 2011 and of course I mean the guy at Miami International who tried to go through security with seven snakes in his pants.


Is there a grocery store…

…named Half Foods? Or even Three-Quarter Foods? No, I think not.

A personal note

If you are the guy who decided to make dishwashing detergent that smells like pineapples, cut it out. Really. This means you.

Oh the truth of it, the truth

Democratic Senators to Push ‘Buffett Rule’ - NYTimes.com

“The American public has no confidence in Congress,” said Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand…

So maybe not so smart after all

Smartphone Owners Prone to Using their Devices in the Bathroom | PCWorld

Smartphone owners just can't stop using their phones, even when they are answering nature's call, according to survey that tracked cellphone usage in the bathroom.

Although, Bunky, really, do we have to know this? Aren't Mitt and Newt (but "Barack" is a weird and foreign-sounding name…) efreakingnough? They can't leave us alone, ever, not for a minute? Not even here, in the bathroom? Oh, wait…

"We'll be waiting for them to drop the water-tight money bag tied to a yellow buoy with a flashing light!"

Thanks to this article from PC Magazine, a link, here and in our world-famous Work Avoidance List, to eight full issues of Tandy Computer Whiz Kids Comics.

Published sporadically from 1982 through 1991 and distributed for free at Radio Shack
stores, the Tandy Computer Whiz Kids was a series of comic books that featured kids
engaged in exciting adventures, information about the world of computers, and
frequent mentions of Radio Shack products.

Wake up and smell the motor oil

News from The Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- A police chase ended early Tuesday when the suspect's car slammed into a house, coming to rest inside a bedroom and on top of a sleeping man.

Why should New Hampshire get it all?

Wisconsin Recall Spending Could Hit $100 Million — Or More | TPM2012

In the upcoming recall election against Republican Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin faces the first ever gubernatorial recall in the state, and only the third gubernatorial recall in the country’s history. Next to the presidential campaign it will likely be the biggest, most expensive race in the country, costing $100 million or more — and that’s just for one state, compared to the whole country.

Oh right, and Iowa. If there really is an Iowa. Maybe this is the hot new industry—for states that don't have fracking, that is. Having hot elections, having all that rich-guy money pouring in from all around. Wheee. Imagine how much we could make by trying to recall John Kerry.



R watch: Can it get any wackier than this?

And One More Thing From Newt

"I think we need to have a government that respects our religions," Gingrich said. "I'm tired of being lectured about respecting every other religion on the planet."

His solution? Yet another baseless promise for his first day in office. "On the very first day I'm inaugurated I will sign an executive order repealing every Obama attack on religion across the board," he said.

So it''s not just some rogue staff that does it: He does it.

Panetta: Obama Personally Approves Killings Of Americans Suspected Of Terrorism | Mother Jones

In an interview with CBS 60 Minutes' Scott Pelley, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta revealed more about the secret process the Obama administration uses to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism without trial. According to Panetta, the president himself approves the decision based on recommendations from top national security officials. 

"[The] President of the United States, obviously reviews these cases, reviews the legal justification and in the end says, go or no go," Panetta said. 

Dude, if that's all you've got, quit now. Spare us the pain.

Did David Axelrod Just Make Romney's 'Crate-Gate' a Campaign Issue? - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

On Monday, Axelrod tweeted a photo of Bo Obama, the first family's dog, in the back of a limo with the words, "How loving owners transport their dogs."

The Great Indian Peninsular Railway

Why don't we have enterprises named like that anymore, named like Great Indian Peninsular Railway, instead of NASA or Freddie Mac (Freddie Mac sounds like something you'd find in a high school cafeteria, doesn't it?)? Of course, we never did have a Great Indian Peninsular Railway—it was British. But still. Why can't we have one?

And by the way, I ran across someone recently suggesting we should stop talking about "infrastructure" (even Elizabeth Warren does that) and start talking about "public works" again, which is the same thing but a whole lot better. I agree.


My advice: Do not read this

Mitt and the White Horse Prophecy - Mitt Romney - Salon.com

A multibillion-dollar business empire that includes agribusiness, mining, insurance, electronic and print media, manufacturing, movie production, commercial real estate, defense contracting, retail stores and banking, the Mormon church has unprecedented economic and political power. Despite a solemn stricture against any act or tolerance of gambling, Mormons have been heavily invested and exceptionally influential in the Nevada gaming industry since the great expansion of modern Las Vegas in the 1950s.  Valued for their unquestioning loyalty to authority as well as general sobriety — they are prohibited from imbibing in alcohol, tobacco or coffee — Mormons have long been recruited into top positions in government agencies and multinational corporations. They are prominent in such institutions as the CIA, FBI and the national nuclear weapons laboratories, giving the church a sphere of influence unlike any other American religion in the top echelons of government.

What's the matter with kids today?

What's Wrong With the Teenage Mind? - WSJ.com

What happens when children reach puberty earlier and adulthood later? The answer is: a good deal of teenage weirdness.

Weirdness? Is that your best guess?

Absolutely worth a look

Here at Mediastorm, some wonderful little stories in black and white. You don't see black and white film (or, no doubt more properly, video, but indulge me here) like this much any more.

Is it over now?

TRENDING: Herman Cain endorses Gingrich – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

(CNN) - Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain endorsed Newt Gingrich Saturday at an event in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Fox news guy worries people are seeing a little too much of what's going on with Republicans these days

Fox’s Wallace says number of GOP debates ‘insane,’ they’re ‘all stupid’ | The Raw Story

In an interview with radio host Mike Gallagher, Wallace expressed his frustration with having to ask the same questions of the candidates over and over as well as having to hear them repeat the same things about themselves. “Why on earth did they think it was good to have nineteen debates?” he asked, saying “they’re all stupid” and that people are only tuning in for the same reason that some people watch high-speed car racing, because they hope to see a crash.

Does he mean the crash hasn't happened yet? Because if that's the case I might keep watching, myself.