Taibbi tees off

It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite…

Rolling Stone

The sky is falling! (Again. Oh my.)

President Obama sternly warned congressional Republicans today that if they don't agree to raise the debt ceiling next month, the consequences could be "catastrophic." 
CBS News



Who's your mommy?

“On the evening of May 20,” begins an article in the June 16, 1941, issue of LIFE magazine, “members of the Young Women’s Republican Club of Milford, Conn., explored the pleasures of tobacco, poker, the strip tease and such other masculine enjoyments as had frequently cost them the evening companionship of husbands, sons and brothers. 
Read more [and photos]: http://life.time.com/curiosities/life-goes-to-a-gop-womens-smoker/#ixzz2H4SfhfLS

Investment opportunity

In 2009, the presidential inauguration committee raised a record $53 million for his first inauguration, refusing corporate donations and capping the maximum donation at $50,000. 
This year, the committee is accepting funding from corporations and has encouraged gifts of $250,000 from individuals. 
Aside from AT&T and Microsoft, other corporate donors listed were pharmaceutical company Genentech, which is part of Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG,, health insurer Centene Corp, and West Coast wealth manager Whittier Trust Co. 


Your mileage may vary

My own personal belief factor for anything I read about the CIA rounds up to 10%. But even with that handicap, Argo, the story of how the CIA, in 1980, spirited six Americans out of Iran one step ahead of the Ayatollah is a terrific tale. The book is on our book list now.

Of course Argo is also a current movie, and you may prefer the story in that form. It's a Hollywood production, however, and the risk of encountering kissing is substantial. There is no kissing in the book. At least none you can see. So there's that.

And who would read the book and see the movie? Really.


Peanut butter and SPAM!

The company primarily known for Spam and other cured, smoked and deli meats said Thursday that it's buying Skippy, the country's No. 2 peanut butter brand, in its biggest-ever acquisition.

Gastronomic glory.

Don't laugh: maybe it just took them 60 years to figure it out

WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) — A Utah school district has cancelled a high school play that uses Elvis Presley’s music after a complaint about a sexually suggestive song.
Jordan School District officials announced plans Wednesday to scrap Herriman High School’s production of “All Shook Up,” saying it could be offensive.


Can't guess, can you?

Why Gerard Depardieu became a Russisan citizen (+video)
Christian Science Monitor

Civilization (if not the world) ends

BuzzFeed set out to reinvent the notion of content for the social web by allowing pictures of cute animals to co-exist with serious political coverage. Now it has a substantial war chest to do it.
Ad Age

Hoo-hum, Obama phones it in

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to avert the fiscal cliff…via autopen on Wednesday.

Nothing left but the smile

The President Barack Obama administration does not have to disclose the legal basis for its drone targeted killing program of Americans, according to a Wednesday decision a judge likened to “Alice in Wonderland”… 
Despite numerous public comments on the CIA’s drone attacks in far-flung locales such as Yemen from various government officials, including former CIA Director Leon Panetta, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, the government is taking the position in court that it would have to eliminate you with one of its drones if it explained the legal basis of the program.


It's the plumbers again

"When we asked Dane Holmes, the head of investor relations at Goldman Sachs, why so few people trust big banks, he told us, 'People don’t understand the banks,' because 'there is a lack of transparency.'…He is certainly right that few students or plumbers or grandparents truly understand what big banks do anymore.

The Atlantic

Incidentally, somebody once said that a successful society needs both great philosophers and great plumbers, because without them neither their theories nor their pipes will hold water.

Pass the pie

(TIME.com) -- The longest lived among us aren't necessarily those who are of normal weight, says a new study.
According to new research this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers say that being overweight may lead to a longer life.…



In DC, even the Grinch is late

Two men robbed a United Parcel Service driver of packages Wednesday morning in Southeast Washington, then made him drive several blocks before he was freed, according to D.C. police.

Washington Post

Oh wait…

Lawmakers from the New York area erupted with outrage on Wednesday after the House refused to take up a federal aid package for states that suffered damages from Hurricane Sandy, and even local Republicans blasted their Congressional leaders for their inaction
New York Times

…what? They had actual business to attend to?

But next time they are really, really, really, really going to get it

The White House and Congress knew of the self-imposed deadline for more than 17 months and they still blew past it…
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/the-fiscal-cliff-deal-that-almost-wasnt-85663.html#ixzz2GpQ2ndrF


Rose Bowl

On Wisconsin. Woo-hoo.

Order in

Happy college football day. Your 2013 New Year's Day has been planned out for you in its entirety.

Best-of lists…

…have never been very high on my fond-of list. But just about everyone who does have a best-of books list for 2012 includes Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl on it. Gone Girl is a mystery-crime tale with distinct overtones of horror story and if you pick it up you will not put it down.

It's on the list.

But next time we're really, really, really going to fix it

(CNN) -- If a Senate deal to avert the fiscal cliff becomes law, all but a sliver of the U.S. population will avoid higher tax rates, some key issues will be put off for two months, and President Barack Obama will have ceded ground on a central promise of his re-election campaign.



Except, of course, moi

"It turns out the average Mac user is pretty cute, if awkwardly dressed," John Gargiulo, BlueStacks vice president of marketing, said in a release about the findings.


Well, yes

"Something has gone terribly wrong when the biggest threat to our American economy is the American Congress," - Senator Joe Manchin, West Virginia.
Daily Dish

But remember, Mark Twain once said:
There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress. 

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. 

A million here, a million there…

By all accounts, the Air Force’s track record of making bombers the country can afford is dismal. The B-1 program was cancelled mid-stream by the Carter administration after its cost doubled, then revived under President Reagan. The B-2 grew so costly in the early 1990s that the Pentagon ended up buying just a fifth of the aircraft originally planned. The B-2s are actually not used much now, partly because few targets justify risking aircraft that cost $3 billion apiece in today’s dollars, and partly because their flights by some estimates cost $135,000 per hour — almost double that of any other military airplane.

Center for Public Integrity

Prediction: robots in middle-management

No one would bother wasting an hour of the robot's day crying in its office or complaining about fairness.

Daily Beast

"Fiscal cliff" banished: Whew. ("Passion" too.)

A dirty dozen have landed on the 38th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. The nonbinding, tongue-in-cheek decree released Monday by northern Michigan’s Lake Superior State University is based on nominations submitted from the United States, Canada and beyond.
Green Bay Press Gazette