At The Line

iPhone photo: Phil Compton


Wait. What?

Another jobs report has come and gone, and yet again, we're left to wonder whether the economy might not be a tad healthier if we weren't firing government workers left and right. Over the past year, the United States has shed 169,000 public sector workers. That's more jobs than we've added in the past two months. 


Out back

Out back by Ted Compton
Out back, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

A kiss is just a kiss

The Canadian arm of the aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney closed a six-year U.S. government probe last week by admitting that it helped China produce its first modern attack helicopter, a serious violation of U.S. export laws that drew a multimillion dollar fine.…

Nothing in the settlement agreement, in which Pratt & Whitney and two related companies, United Technologies and Hamilton Sundstrand agreed to pay a total of $75 million for multiple violations of export rules, directly threatens Pratt's existing or future government contracting.


Something's rotten in the state of Provolone

Still, you've got to love a town named Denmark, Wisconsin, especially when they make Italian cheese there.


Take the ballot box and run

The impact of Pennsylvania’s new Voter-ID law could be much wider-reaching than the state’s Republican officials claimed when passing the bill, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

In fact, over 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania — representing 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 million registered voters — do not have photo identification cards from the state Transportation Department, based on a comparison between voter registration rolls and the Transportation Department database.


The 25 most beautiful public libraries in the world (according to somebody)

Wow. Just take a look. Makes you want to sit down and read a book. (Which you can do, in Amsterdam, sitting in an egg.)

Again with the green button

Folks in San Diego witnessed what was either the worst Fourth of July fireworks celebration — or the absolute best — when a technical malfunction caused all of their pyrotechnics to go off at the same time. The annual Big Bay Boom extravaganza began and ended in spectacular fashion when an inadvertent signal set off the explosions about five minutes early and caused the entire 18 minute show to take place in about 15 seconds.



July by Ted Compton
July, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.



Historical by Ted Compton
Historical, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.


In an effort to clear up any potential confusion on the subject of mermaids, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a statement confirming that "no evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found."


What happens when you push the green

A State Representative in North Carolina accidentally cast the deciding vote on a key fracking bill, handing her opponents a victory because she pushed the wrong button.


81 degrees F…

…delicate, wispy clouds, high; soft breeze, sweet. Strolling 0° N toward an excellent cup of coffee. Listening to Bach.

Perfect afternoon.

But they're not, you know, really people so they won't serve time

NY Times - In the largest settlement involving a pharmaceutical company, the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $3 billion in fines for promoting its best-selling antidepressants for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a top diabetes drug, federal prosecutors announced Monday…



Screechy naysayers, however, cheer

The Atlantic Wire (@TheAtlanticWire)
7/2/12 3:00 PM
Former Bush staffers regret John Roberts nomination theatln.tc/LLfIcs


The love

The love by Ted Compton
The love, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Somebody's not getting his money's worth in Chicago

Midway through a fairly extensive piece about University of Chicago's annual scavenger hunt, wherein a bunch of students get together and pretend they go to MIT for a few days, New Yorker writer Patricia Marx reports, breathlessly, "Did I mention that the tuition alone at the University of Chicago is $43,581?" and then launches into the following paragraph:

"Citing the work of the Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga, Montola, the game scholar, e-mailed me to say that although adult play is always taboo, play among students exists around the world, manifesting itself in secret societies, pranks, sports leagues, hobby clubs, rivalries, and the like."

Astounding. Adult play is always taboo?

This game scholar person, or perhaps the cultural historian person, or perhaps the New Yorker writer, or all three have evidently never heard of golf. Tennis. Handball, racquetball, or squash. Basketball. Softball. Skiing or swimming. Bridge, mah-jongg, or Chinese checkers. Or ever been anywhere near a Shriners convention. Or, for that matter, a national political convention…

I'm thinking refund here.

In Kansas heat wave, says New York Times…

…"People’s tomatoes cooked on the vine."
Dude! Bring the pasta!


You really have to love this no matter how twisted you are

Despite concerns about U.S.-made drones ending up in enemy hands, American military contractors are lobbying the government to loosen export restrictions and open up foreign markets to the unmanned aircraft that have reshaped modern warfare.

...."Export restrictions are hurting this industry in America without making us any safer," Wesley G. Bush, Northrop's chief executive, said at a defense conference this year....As the U.S. war effort draws down and the Pentagon budget shrinks, defense companies say they need Congress to ease restrictions so they can tap lucrative foreign markets for their wares.

Mother Jones

Meanwhile from Wired: "It's safe to say that drones are the first technology in history where the toy industry and hobbyists are beating the military-industrial complex at its own game."

To drone or be droned is the question now.

2009? We've fallen into a time warp here?

Josh Marshall (@joshtpm)
7/1/12 1:14 PM
"But, but ... US political system isn't fair" isnt an answer to evaluating political situation of US in 2009 #protips

Black on Wall

Black on Wall by Ted Compton
Black on Wall, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Tin roof

Tin roof by Ted Compton
Tin roof, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.