Imagine our unbounded joy

Banks Are Doing Better Than Ever. The Middle Class, Not So Much. | Mother Jones:

""The banks are back," Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told the Washington Post Wednesday. "Only four years after the banking system was literally looking into the abyss, it is highly profitable again." "

'via Blog this'

So can we call it the Arab Autumn then?

News from The Associated Press:
""The Arab Spring is moving into, let's say, a more mature phase," says Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Gulf Affairs. "There is Syria, of course. But the rest of the region is moving into a slow burn now. Voices are speaking up against corruption and political arrogance in the Gulf, but also in places like Egypt and Tunisia that went through their revolutions and are still undergoing a political shakeout." "


So I might manage a millisecond or two with a senior discount

Car salesman pays $32K to lobby Obama for 2 minutes:
"A Los Angeles car salesman and electric car advocate is shelling $32,400 out of his retirement savings so he can make a pitch directly to President Obama at a "private, off-the-record" Democratic fundraiser next week."
Where do I sign up?

 Seriously, when you have to pay to speak to the President this whole "government by the people" thing is well and truly trashed.

Worth it

Backblogged: Our Five Favorite Sentences of the Week : The New Yorker

Be still my heart

Jesse Ventura for president in 2016? - CSMonitor.com:
"Just back from his part-time home in Mexico, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura dangled the idea Friday that he could run for the U.S. presidency in 2016.… 
"He said he's approached radio shock jock Howard Stern about being his running mate, and Stern expressed interest."
Dude, my fingers are already crossed. The D's and the R's aren't getting anywhere—why not Jesse? Plus, think of the fun.

More IRS scandal! People dance!

IRS video: Dancing workers. Wrong-footed agency. - CSMonitor.com:
"In the latest black eye for the Internal Revenue Service, the agency provided Congress on Friday with another video featuring its employees, this one showing about a dozen of them line dancing on a stage."
Imagine the horror.

We met by the lima beans…

Tornadoes Suck Mom and Baby Out of Car, Strangers Huddle In Freezers - Yahoo! News:
"The storm, which included an estimated five twisters, left others huddled and crying in walk-in freezers…"

Go geezers!

From this morning's Boston Globe:

"An 84-year-old World War II veteran grabbed his cane and yelled at a man who broke into his Salem apartment early Thursday morning, startling the bungling intruder so much that he ran away, according to Salem police."


Yup, sounds like a Democrat all right

With Michele Bachmann out of congressional race, Democrat gives up too - latimes.com

Why bother.

Like Ender's Game

This Pentagon Project Makes Cyberwar as Easy as Angry Birds | Brookings Institution:
"The U.S. government, according to several published reports, is already the biggest buyer of malware that takes advantage of previously unknown computer vulnerabilities. That’s driving up the price of these “zero days,” and making their discovery an even more lucrative enterprise. "
 The book, Ender's Game, by the way, is almost certainly better (and if you haven't read it you should) but if you'd rather wait for the movie, well, it's on the way.


TheWeek.com: The asteroid flying by Earth has its own baby moon. http://goo.gl/mag/xyt2sXu

Next you'll be telling me it has a kitten too.

Good point

Motorola Is Working On a Password Pill for Once-Daily Authentication — Oh, and a Tattoo, Too | TIME.com:
"It doesn’t appear to be a permanent tattoo — there’s a better look at the tattoos up close on MC10′s website — though Dugan joked that although kids don’t like wearing watches, they’d get electronic tattoos “if only to piss off their parents.”"

Obama's buddy Rahm leads the charge

Undernews: Closed schools hurt communities:
"Almost totally missing from discussions of this unprecedented assault on public education is the fact that schools aren't just schools; they are also important community centers. They provide services, refuge, play space and are often centers of community congregation. They also bring adults together who might never meet otherwise."

Oh oh, this thing is starting to fall apart

Ibragim Todashev: FBI officials offer a more detailed version of what led to Tamerlan's friend's death.:
"Another day, another version of the story of what happened in Ibragim Todashev's Florida apartment the night he was shot and killed by the FBI…"

But of course they would never do that here

Dios Mío! Pentagon's Latest Weapon in Colombian Drug War? Soap Operas | Danger Room | Wired.com:
"According to the request, the Army wants a potential contractor to write and produce a total of 20 radio novela episodes for an Army MISO team (Military Information Support Operations) based in Colombia, with eight episodes that “convey messages that promote demobilization,” or encouraging armed groups to put down their weapons. Another eight “shall convey messages that counter recruitment of target audiences (TAs) into illegal armed groups.”"

Well, tapering off

New Drone Strike Undercuts Obama's Promises on Robot War | Danger Room | Wired.com:
"It took all of six days for President Obama to undermine his own new rules about restricting drone strikes."

I hate lists—whose idea was that?

Five signs your computer is infected:
"It's like the common cold. You'd think someone would have cured both by now. Unfortunately, it looks like computer viruses are just getting stronger and smarter."
Yeah, well, unfortunately for you, maybe, Bunky, but it's work insurance for tech writers everywhere, not to mention the assorted geeks who blame everything that's wrong with your computer on "a virus." And then, of course, the anti-virus industry.

Come to think of it, viruses might save the national economy single-handed.

The burger crisis

Where's the beef? Maybe not on your grill this summer:
"Beef prices are hitting record highs just as the summer grilling season begins. "
So what's next, no ketchup?

Starts out good, at least

The undercovered dark cloud in the shrinking-deficit story : Columbia Journalism Review:

"The federal budget deficit has been shrinking like a wool sweater in a clothes dryer, but that fact seems mostly lost on the American people."

William Keating, apparently, thinks we ought to be more like Russia

Marathon Bombings Could Have Been Averted, Rep. Keating Says | WBUR:
"BOSTON — A Massachusetts congressman says Russian intelligence officials believe if U.S. authorities had acted on their detailed warnings about Tamerlan Tsarnaev wanting to join an Islamic insurgency, the Boston Marathon bombings could have been averted.… 
Keating tells The Boston Globe the counterintelligence officials showed him specific information that convinced them Tsarnaev “had plans to join the insurgency” in Dagestan, in southern Russia."
I seem to remember a time when politicians—even conservative politicians, bless their frightened little hearts—told us if we weren't good boys and girls and didn't say "under God" in the pledge the Russians would win and we would have to be like them and it would be horrible. But now being like the Russians is touted as just the thing to do.

Now the libs, so delighted by the chance to take a poke at the FBI and the CIA, miss the larger picture: We don't want to be  more like Russia. OK, I don't—you're on your own. And I really don't want the FBI to be more like the Russian intelligence service.

Keating, a Massachusetts Democrat, and his congressional delegation buddies—one of whom is Michele Bachmann—can just buzz off.
iPhone photo art: Phil Compton


Pretty much the end of everything, really

The Chicago Sun-Times Laid Off Their Entire Photography Staff - Abby Ohlheiser - The Atlantic Wire

When it comes to work avoidance you, dear readers, are the champs!

Earlier today I inadvertently posted the same blog entry twice. At this time, both postings have received the same number of hits. Good work!

It seems I could double the readership stats simply by posting every entry twice. And still be the most exclusive blog on the planet, although perhaps a little more industriously exclusive.

Although I won't do that because it sounds like work.

Nothing's stopping you from clicking twice, but that sounds like work too.

Wait, you mean all this time…

‘French Kiss’ is Finally a Real Word in France | TIME.com:

"Much like the terms french toast, french braids and french fries, the etymology of this sensual oral technique is grounded in English: The coining of “French kiss” is commonly attributed to American soldiers returning from World War I…"

And another thing, dude, uppity!

Male Pundits Fear the Natural Selection of Fox's Female Breadwinners - Elspeth Reeve - The Atlantic Wire

Some of those dinosaurs are pretty scary, I bet

Man With Concealed Weapons Permit Forgot Loaded Gun On Disney World Ride:
"Officials said that the woman found the pistol on the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom."

Republican's try to appear judicious while slavering

House Republicans express "great concern" about possible Holder perjury - CBS News:
"Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday expressing "great concern" about the possibility that Holder lied under oath during his testimony earlier this month on the Justice Department's seizing of journalists' records, CBS News has learned."
Great concern hehehe

Personal freaking chemistry? Really?

Xi, Obama look to strike up relationship at summit - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -:
"Tucked away at a mansion with a private golf course on the edge of the Mojave Desert, Obama and Xi will search for the kind of personal chemistry that has eluded their predecessors for the past several decades."
That's what we're going with here? Just invite China over for a beer?

Personal freaking chemistry? Really?

Xi, Obama look to strike up relationship at summit - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -:
"Tucked away at a mansion with a private golf course on the edge of the Mojave Desert, Obama and Xi will search for the kind of personal chemistry that has eluded their predecessors for the past several decades."
That's what we're going with here? Just invite China over for a beer?

It's getting harder and harder to keep track of Kansas

Threat of more heavy rains raises fears of flooding in Kansas and Missouri - lakeexpo.com: Top Stories:
"Several rounds of thunderstorms are expected to move across the Kansas City region before the weekend, bringing heavy rains and the threat of flooding."
I thought they were having drought in Kansas. But it's floods?

Of course why would anybody want to keep track of Kansas, you might ask. Isn't it pretty much the same as Iowa? I have no idea.

It's all about how many zeroes, guys

Immigrants contribute millions to Medicare | todaysthv.com:
"UNDATED (AP) - Immigrants have contributed billions of dollars more to Medicare in recent years than the program has paid out on their behalf, according to a new study, a pattern that goes against the notion that immigrants are a drain on federal health care spending."
Also, WTF?

Stuff piles up: Too much of a good thing

60 Years After Man First Climbed Everest, the Mountain Is a Mess | TIME.com:
"Mount Everest — once the most remote and forbidding spot on the planet — is becoming the world’s tallest trash heap."


We just don't have time to worry about everything

An Excerpt From Lightweb Darkweb: Three Reasons to Reform Social Media Before It Re-Forms Us:
"Imagine a highway with no speed limits and no guard rails, where vehicles have no seatbelts and faulty brakes, and drivers (many of them underage) are constantly distracted - that's the "Information Superhighway." Would you rush to give your kids a sports car to drive on that highway - a smartphone? Hardly. You would at least wait until they were old enough to have a driver's license."
Like, for example, the heartbreak of metaphor bloat.

FBI: We don't need no stinking laws

FBI hosts child porn site for two weeks - Salon.com:
"In only partially successful sting operation, agents actively distributed child porn"

Or, Paradise for Geeks

Google updates Gmail to organize messages into different categories | Ars Technica:
"Users can customize the inbox by selecting which tabs they want to see, dragging and dropping messages between each category, setting the preferences so that certain senders only appear in certain tabs, and starring messages so that they appear on the Primary tab."
Dude, we can't wait.

A free lesson in how free markets work

The most embarrassing graph in American drug policy

Yeah, this really ups the game

With heat wave apparently on its way, environmental regulators issue air quality alert for south coast of Mass.
5/29/13 4:14 PM

Why is the sunny day always tomorrow?

Somebody keeps moving that little sunny icon on the weather forecast. What's going on? Yesterday, today was supposed to be sunny.

We're right at that temperature band where its warm if it's sunny and not if it's not. Today it's not.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be sunny, just like today was yesterday.

And so how did that work out?

Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen:"The New Digital Age"'s Futurist Schlock | New Republic:

"The catalog from Willcox & Gibbs, the Apple of its day, in 1864, includes glowing testimonials from a number of reverends thrilled by the civilizing powers of the new [sewing] machine. One calls it a “Christian institution”; another celebrates its usefulness in his missionary efforts in Syria; a third, after praising it as an “honest machine,” expresses his hope that “every man and woman who owns one will take pattern from it, in principle and duty.”"

Woohoo! Lipstickgate!

Obama lipstick on collar: Who put it there? - CSMonitor.com:
"Why did President Obama have lipstick on his collar when he rose to make remarks at a White House reception Tuesday night? "

Let's keep the government out of business (but not too out)

Wall Street drops more than 1 percent on Fed stimulus worries | Reuters:
"(Reuters) - Stocks fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday, retreating sharply from record levels scaled recently, on concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve may start to ease up on its economy-boosting stimulus program."
Who knew when they said "free markets" they meant, well, free?



... I'm spending the afternoon with Windows 7 running on an HP laptop-the first time I've seen said operating system, and possibly the last. But it's not too bad

The person who owns the laptop lives in an area serviced only by dial-up Internet, a real problem when it comes to installing updates.
So she hasn't. Installed any updates. For about two years.

Her laptop is installing 100 of them as we speak. Which ought to just about solve all the problems she mentioned having.

Meanwhile I get to have all this fun. I am easily amused.

Never too late to be outraged about high school

TheWeek.com: 6 high school yearbook controversies.

But everybody does it, says Mother

Official at Heart of IRS Tea Party Scandal Spiked Audits of Big Dark-Money Donors | Mother Jones:
"Yet lawmakers have no qualms with using politics to bend the IRS to its will."

Signs of the times

What is this "film" of which you speak?

Who is this "we" of whom you speak, AP?

News from The Associated Press:
"From the time they are born, we put our boys in blue beanies and our girls in pink ones."
And what century are you living in? Beanies?


News from The Associated Press:
"…the Red Cross still hasn't spent more than a third of the $303 million it raised to assist victims of the storm, a strategy the organization says will help address needs that weren't immediately apparent in the disaster's wake."


It's been a really lousy weekend here so far

I can't remember a memorial day weekend quite so bad. It's cold, windy, and wet. The neighbors planned a lawn party, apparently, set out awnings and tables but nobody's sitting there. Everybody's in the house because it's just too chilly to be out.

Tomorrow should be better. They say will get some sun and maybe break 70. Woo hoo. But until then I'm staying right here. Indoors. And complaining.

iPhone abstract: Phil Compton