These guys are every bit as dangerous as the neocons, maybe more

Hey kids, guess what? The Obama campaign team is going to try to primary liberal Democrats from the right. I'm not kidding…

Gays can't get married and straights can't get un

North Carolina Republican lawmakers may have abandoned their plan to declare Christianity as the state’s religion, but conservative legislators in the state are still pushing forward with a plan to require a two-year waiting period on all divorces, a plan that require the couple to attend classes and workshops designed to prevent them from divorcing.
Raw Story

When your tinfoil hat is just not enough

It does not, it's fair to say, make its wearer look especially cool. But that's not really what this hoodie is about. It has been designed to hide me from the thermal imaging systems of unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles - drones.…

The Matrix in Hong Kong

Eye-Popping Photographs of Hong Kong High-Rise Apartment Buildings

Wait, what?

Poring through IRS data can uncover some interesting statistics, apparently, as reports show that in the midst of the economic downturn, $80 million in unemployment benefits have been doled out to American millionaire households. 
Some 3,200 households reporting an adjusted gross income of over $1 million collected jobless assistance payments averaging $12,600, for an overall record $29.9 million, in 2010. The real question is, of course, how is it even possible for such households to qualify for the benefits?
Yeah, how?
Oh. That. 

File under Stuff I Don't Get

North Korea, which is making increasingly belligerent threats to attack the United States, gets barely a yawn…

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea is widely recognized as being years away from perfecting the technology to back up its bold threats of a pre-emptive strike on America.…
No one can tell with any certainty how much technological progress North Korea has made, aside from perhaps a few people close to its secretive leadership. And, if true, it is unlikely that Pyongyang would launch such an attack, because the retaliation would be devastating. 
While Iran—which is threatening nobody, as far as I can see—evokes cool-sweat panic.

Physics besmirched

Wayne LaPierre may have won the week, and he may slither away without Congress doing anything this time around. But the laws of physics are such that he can’t do this forever.
Daily Beast

Maybe we really do need to fix the schools.

Good morning, chumps

President Barack Obama has once again started his negotiations by scoring into his own net. In what may be the dumbest plan yet proposed, Obama has offered cuts to Social Security hoping for a change in the Republican’s position on tax loopholes for the wealthy.

There's nothing in the Bill of Rights about "no-fly zones," Bunky

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had a "no fly zone" in place in Mayflower, Arkansas since April 1 at 2:12 PM and will be in place "until further notice," according to the FAA website and it's being overseen by ExxonMobil itself. In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon's permission.


If you think this isn't going to sell a few more iPads you're smoking something pretty weird already

An internal Drug Enforcement Administration document seen by CNET discusses a February 2013 criminal investigation and warns that because of the use of encryption, "it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices" even with a court order approved by a federal judge.

I've been trying to ignore this but it doesn't seem to be going away

The business about Obama and the California AG…

At the very least, however, it was a bit cavalier of Obama, unprofessional and unbefitting of his high office and expensive threads, to turn the attorney generalship into a beauty pageant, though the president did compliment Harris's brilliance, toughness, and dedication before declaring her easy on the eyes, so her braininess got first billing, if you're scoring at home.
Vanity Fair

I hate playing this game but really, if a guy like Mitt Romney (or George Bush) had said something just like that "cavalier" is the least likely response I can imagine, web-wide. And we would never hear the end of it. Consider, for example, "binders of women."

This kind of stuff is why I am officially an ex-Dem.

The master of preemptive surrender…

WASHINGTON — President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans…
New York Times

Does this have something to do with the Emperor's clothes?

GENEVA (AP) — A $2 billion cosmic ray detector on the International Space Station has found the first significant hint of dark matter, the mysterious substance that is believed to hold the cosmos together but has never been directly observed, scientists say.

I don't mean to be a doubter here but…huh?


What is the sound of one (more) bubble popping?

WASHINGTON — A massive trove of secret documents exposing the world of offshore finance favored by the rich has been made public by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The leak goes to the heart of a vast offshore financial system based entirely on secrecy that has never been breached at this scale.…

Americans just not dumb enough, Robertson says

It may have been April 1st yesterday [sic], but televangelist Pat Robertson wasn’t kidding when he told a viewer that Americans aren’t experiencing God’s miracles because they are too “sophisticated.”
Why do miracles “happen with great frequency in Africa, and not here in the USA?” asked a 700 Club patron Ken. “People overseas didn’t go to Ivy League schools,” Robertson replied with a chuckle.…

You can make more money on dementia then you can on cancer, woohoo

The most rigorous study to date of how much it costs to care for Americans with dementia found that the financial burden is at least as high as that of heart disease or cancer, and is probably higher. And both the costs and the number of people with dementia will more than double within 30 years…
New York Times


Noted in passing

The hospital did a single toenail clipping. The bill is $1,206.
To avoid misunderstandings, this was not a surgical intervention. It was the same kind of clipping that you do yourself every week, except that only a small piece of only one nail was clipped.
Washington Post

Say it ain't so

Diplomacy Fail in Cairo as the US and Egypt Clash Via Twitter

This is your butt for sale

Nile Bowie - One of the least discussed and least reported issues is the Obama administration’s effort to bring the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to the forefront, an oppressive plurilateral US-led free trade agreement currently being negotiated with several Pacific Rim countries. Six hundred US corporate advisors have negotiated and had input into the TPP, and the proposed draft text has not been made available to the public, the press or policymakers. The level of secrecy surrounding the agreements is unparalleled…
Progressive Review

Wait (I say to myself)…

Why go out today and freeze yourself half to death when you can just as well wait until tomorrow, when it will be warmer?

Good point. Maybe I'll just stay here this afternoon and read some Carl Sandburg.

Remember what they told you about your permanent record?

From the New York Times:
Facing a wave of employee theft, retailers across the country have helped amass vast databases of workers accused of stealing and are using that information to keep employees from working again in the industry.
From The Internet Post:
Over the past 18 months, a massive $100 million public-school database spearheaded by the $36.4 billion-strong Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been in the making that freely shares student information with private companies.
They weren't kidding.

A liberal by any other name

[To the Editor of Playboy]

December 21, 1962

Dear Sir,

I wish you hadn't billed the debate between William Buckley and myself as a meeting between a conservative and a liberal. I don't care if people call me a radical, a rebel, a red, a revolutionary, an outsider, an outlaw, a Bolshevik, an anarchist, a nihilist, or even a left conservative, but please don’t ever call me a liberal.


Norman Mailer 

Letters of Note

Getting by

The truth is that American workers are the most productive in the world. US worker productivity increased 80 percent from 1973 to 2011, eight times as much as hourly worker compensation. The average worker is responsible for $63,885 of wealth per year. Yet more than a third of households make less than $30,000 a year. We have the highest percentage of low wage workers in the world–almost 25 percent.…
Progressive Review

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a quote from Dorothy Parker

"Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants."


When faced with budget woes, dump the budget department

WASHINGTON -- The White House says 480 workers on the president's budget staff have been notified they may have to take days off without pay because of a partisan budget stalemate.

And no, this has nothing to do with April Fools' Day.

Sometimes I wonder if these guys could run a lemonade stand.

And they said there were no more frontiers

We’re living in a golden age of Oreo innovation — Kraft Foods has been hard at work cramming more cream into their cookies while a Ph.D. has developed a machine to scrape the high fructose corn syrup stuff off. Still, despite being a $2 billion dollars a year product, food scientists have not yet figured out how to dunk these sweet cookie sandwiches in a glass when the milk gets low. Some think a new utensilis the answer, but self-proclaimed “Awkward Engineer” Sam Feller thinks that’s a hack solution.…

Pinocchios for the Chief

Two months ago, we were willing to cut the White House some slack, given the paucity of recent data. But the president’s failure to acknowledge the significant questions about these old data, or the slippery phrasing, leaves us little choice but to downgrade this claim to Three Pinocchios.…
Washington Post


What, they can't sleep?

Antidepressants aren't the only drugs which potentially cause problems [in lakes and rivers]. Triclosan, an antimicrobial commonly found in soap, has been detected in the environment, and caffeine has been found in the coastal waters (perhaps unsurprisingly) off the Pacific Northwest. It's unknown if caffeine has any effect on marine life, but it has been shown to increase stress in mussels.
Real Clear Science

 Come on. How can you tell when a mussel is stressed out? Do they have mussel shrinks or something? Give me a break.

Are these R's just born crooks or what?

A top Republican in Georgia has sounded an ominous warning that legalization of same-sex marriage may also lead to fraud.  
“You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart said. “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? …

Quick! What benefits? I could use some benefits myself. Why didn't I think of this?
Safe Harbor
iPhone photo: Phil Compton



Timing is everything

One week after the Senate held a symbolic vote in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, the U.S. saw two different oil spills involving Canadian tar sands crude oil.…

Professional mime group proclaims "Silence is Golden"

From the Siesta Key [FL] Pelican Press:

The Golden Apple Dinner Theater will now be known as Silence is Golden Theater, a non profit professional mime school and performance venue.
Two new proprietors have signed a lease for the space….  They wish to remain silent partners at the time.

Noted by our Midwest (and Gulf Coast) Bureau.

You were wondering why your budget never comes out even?

People aren't just paying more for gas these days, but the price of fake farts has also increased drastically.… 

So more or less everything then

Ishtar was the goddess of love, war and sex.
The Belle Jar