10.05.2013

Blitzer: "Only three years to get ready"

Wolf Blitzer: Obamacare website shutdown ‘embarrassment for administration’ - BizPac Review

The Obama administration quietly announced late Friday that the enrollment functions of the healthcare.gov site will be down for repairs this weekend.

The web site set up to allow people to enroll online in Obamacare has been “bedeviled by technology glitches,” as reported by CBS News. The results have been so poor that the Washington Post reported that the media was struggling to find anyone who had been able to enroll.

Well, it gets so cold...things slow…down…

Undernews: Norwegians get to watch endless hours of knitting on TV

Guardian, UK - Oh, to be Norwegian. It has been announced that NRK, the country's state broadcaster, will soon show a programme about a sweater being knitted. That's it. Norwegian viewers will tune in and watch a sheep being sheared, before seeing its wool being spun and used to knit a sweater.…

Afternoon

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

A Saturday morning

A Saturday morning by Ted Compton
A Saturday morning, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

And who says those R's have no flair for comedy?

House Republicans probe DC monument closures amid slimdown | Fox News

The committee is considering hearings to determine whether the Obama administration ordered the "outrageous" closures in an attempt to "make the current lapse in appropriations as conspicuous and painful to the public as possible," according to the letter from chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and subcommittee chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah.

This really is pretty hilarious. R's refuse to fund the Federal government and then get all bitchy because the national parks close? Really? Well, yes; they didn't intend to close down the parts of the government they like, just the parts they don't. For the people they don't. Like.

Oh, and "slimdown"? Seriously, Faux News? You're going with "slimdown" now?

Two decades is not exactly forever, but still…

Undernews: Word: Obama's war on information

A few news organizations have even set up separate computer networks and safe rooms for journalists trained in encryption and other ways to thwart surveillance.…

Sanger, who has worked for the Times in Washington for two decades, said, “This is most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”

Rump, befuddled

ANALYSIS: US RELIABILITY QUESTIONED OVERSEAS

An unmistakable sense of unease has been growing in capitals around the world as the U.S. government from afar looks increasingly befuddled - shirking from a military confrontation in Syria, stymied at home by a gridlocked Congress and in danger of defaulting on sovereign debt, which could plunge the world's financial system into chaos.…

"The paralysis of the American government, where a rump in Congress is holding the whole place to ransom, doesn't really jibe with the notion of the United States as a global leader," said Michael McKinley, an expert on global relations at the Australian National University.

The big money behind the shutdown

Top Contributors | OpenSecrets

10.04.2013

Not shut down (yet)

Not shut down (yet) by Ted Compton
Not shut down (yet), a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Fxx these guys

Big Oil loses it: ExxonMobil claims it owns the letter “X”! - Salon.com

Underscoring the ridiculousness of a company claiming to own a letter of the alphabet, Deadline notes, “This double-cross brawl may come as a surprise to Dos Equis, which also has a double-X logo, and we assume the legal wrangling will be be watched with considerable interest by the XX chromosome, and the roman numeral for 20.” Same thing for any clothing companies that make t-shirts marked double extra large.

Where we're at

'I don't want it': Airman gives back paycheck, asks others to do same – CNN Security Clearance - CNN.com Blogs

“I am very frustrated with the government shutdown, and its impact on the very people we are fighting for, and more specifically, our most vulnerable Americans. I was equally as frustrated to see Congress choose to fund my paycheck while my brothers and sisters go without. I don't want it,” he said.

Meanwhile:

GOP Rep Says 'Dang Straight' He'll Collect His Paycheck During Shutdown

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) made it clear to the Omaha World-Herald in a story published Friday that he would collect his salary during the government shutdown. 

"Dang straight," Terry said when the newspaper asked whether he would collect his pay during the shutdown…

And:

 

Congresswoman Says She Should Get Paid During Shutdown: 'I Need My Paycheck' | ThinkProgress

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) told a Raleigh TV station Wednesday that she would continue to accept and keep her government paycheck during the shutdown. Her reason, she explained, was that she needs the money.

“I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line.” Ellmers explained.…

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) took a similar line in an interview with Omaha World Herald: “I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.”

What, you were expecting something that made sense?

Blame game: the right-wing media on the government shutdown - Salon.com

The right-wing media may be loving the government shutdown, but that doesn’t mean they’re willing to assign credit for it to Republicans. On the contrary, the overriding message to be taken from the right’s coverage of the shutdown is that it’s an awesome liberation from Big Government, a political win-win for Republicans, and totally, entirely, without question all President Obama’s fault.

TGIF

Republican hackers

Understanding Denial-of-Service Attacks | US-CERT

In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, an attacker attempts to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services.

He really does know if you've been good or bad

12 creepy details data collectors know about you

In today's big-data age, marketers routinely mine your personal information for insights into who you are and how you behave. Behind the scenes, data brokers quietly collect and sell some of your most sensitive personal details -- without your knowledge or consent.

Baloney. There are no winners here.

Obama Admin Official: 'We Are Winning' Shutdown Fight

A senior administration official claims that Democrats are winning a standoff over funding the federal government, which was forced by House Republicans Tuesday over a demand to delay and defund President Barack Obama's signature health reform law, and that it didn't "really matter" how long it lasted.

And it does. A lot.

I think when the Chinese do this it's called abuse or something

How about a pony?

Shutdown, Default, and now a Grand Bargain? GOP Reeks of Desperation | New Republic

In a remarkable statement to the Washington Examiner, Representative Martin Stutzman of Indiana said “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” 

And why should Nigerians have all the fun?

Some Online Journals Will Publish Fake Science, For A Fee : Shots - Health News : NPR

The business model of these "predatory publishers" is a scientific version of those phishes from Nigerians who want help transferring a few million dollars into your bank account.

10.03.2013

Republicans shut down health care — to sick kids

The Saddest Paragraph You'll Read About the Government Shutdown Today - Nextgov.com

At the National Institutes of Health, nearly three-quarters of the staff was furloughed. One result: director Francis Collins said about 200 patients who otherwise would be admitted to the NIH Clinical Center into clinical trials each week will be turned away. This includes about 30 children, most of them cancer patients, he said.

But certainly not expired

Chocolate Chip Mint: It could be all downhill from here . . .

Happy Birthday, L C Dot.

Awesome B/W

Peter Turnley - In Love with Lisbon

This is the way it should be done, B/W, and it's best on plain old-fashioned film.

Wimpy Democrats want weather forecasts; Real Republicans don't care

Shutdown stopping flow of weather information as dangerous storms threaten nation

Certain Federal resources for communicating information about hazardous weather are down and out within 48 hours of a possible life-threatening hurricane, blizzard, severe thunderstorm outbreak and wildfires.

Who needs weather forecasts when you have Pat Robertson?

It's come to this: Newt, again

Newt Gingrich: Founding Fathers Liked Shutdowns | TIME.com

Now you can get nagged, electronically, by a fork

HAPIfork Bluetooth eating utensil ships to Kickstarter backers - SlashGear

The fork is designed to watch how you’re eating, how fast your eating, and if you’re chewing for long enough. It pairs with an application that runs on computers or smartphones and tracks statistics about how you eat.

The Republican way: Just get sick and die, you wimp

Economic fears grow as U.S. government shutdown drags on - Yahoo News

"[But] we can never recover if Obamacare is implemented on the American people, and it will diminish the trajectory of the American destiny by turning us into a dependency society."

A world of entertainment

Foreign Press Baffled As 'Messed-Up' U.S. Government Shuts Down

"For a country that fancies itself the greatest democracy on Earth, the fact that a small band of outliers in one party can essentially shut down the federal government over a petty political brawl seems woefully undemocratic."

And so much more.

Maybe not totally bad, but still

WHO KNEW? SHUTDOWN CASUALTIES SHATTER STEREOTYPES

Also canceled: a weekend Ku Klux Klan rally at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

10.02.2013

The Republican party should be banned (Cont.)

The GOP's Obamacare Suicide | Mother Jones

This confrontation over government spending has nothing to do with, well, government spending. The shutdown was merely a way for Cruz-controlled Republicans to vent about Obamacare. So if the Republican party stands for anything today, it is obstructing Obamacare.

The Republican party should be banned (cont.)

WWII Veterans Group: Park Service 'Bent Over Backwards' For Us

Jeff Miller, the co-founder of the Honor Flight Network, applauded the National Park Service on Wednesday for accomodating veterans hoping to visit the World War II Memorial, which had been closed as a result of the government shutdown.

“The Park Service they have been so compassionate, they have done everything they could,” Miller said, as quoted by the Washington Post. He added that the service “bent over backwards” to ensure that veterans were not dealt any additional inconveniences.…

But:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday that the government had deployed "goons" to deny veterans access, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) issued a statement Wednesday blaming the Obama administration for the closure.

 

James Madison! Of course!

The shutdown is the Constitution’s fault

The government is shut down. Two million federal workers are having paychecks delayed, and 800,000 of them might never be repaid at all. Food safety inspections are on hold. Kids are being refused experimental treatments for cancer.

So whose fault is it?

It's developing into an industry in its own right — the writing of articles explaing whose fault the big shutdown of '13 is. 

Why not just have everybody stand and hang on to a strap?

Lightening An Airplane's Load | Autopia | Wired.com

The new SL3510 seats, from German manufacturer Recaro, weigh just 20 pounds each.

It works on the subway – and have you ever tried to sit on one of those subway seats?

An interesting take on the mess that is Congress

Jet Engine And Government Shutdown - Could The Jet Engine Be Behind Government Shutdown? - Esquire

The very first jet powered aircraft took off just three days before the beginning of the Second World War in Europe. On September 27, 1939, a test pilot named Erich Warsitz climbed into the cockpit of the experimental Heinkel 178, and launched himself into history, and the United States down the road to governmental gridlock and shutdown.…

And now

House Republicans are failing Americans in their effort to kill Obamacare - The Washington Post

AMERICANS’ RESPECT for their Congress has, sad to say, diminished in recent years. But citizens still expect a minimal level of competence and responsibility: Pay the bills and try not to embarrass us in front of the world.

By those minimal standards, this Congress is failing. More specifically, the Republican leaders of the House of Representatives are failing. They should fulfill their basic duties to the American people or make way for legislators who will.…

First, the Republican party should be banned

Government Shutdown - The Reign Of Morons Is Here - Esquire

The government of the United States, in the first three words of its founding charter, belongs to all of us, and these people have broken it deliberately. The true hell of it, though, is that you could see this coming down through the years, all the way from Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address in which government "was" the problem, through Bill Clinton's ameliorative nonsense about the era of big government being "over," through the attempts to make a charlatan like Newt Gingrich into a scholar and an ambitious hack like Paul Ryan into a budget genius, and through all the endless attempts to find "common ground" and a "Third Way."…

Then the other one.

Daily News weighs in

Here.

Time to buy more Democrats, fat cats decide

News from The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Having failed to persuade their traditional Republican allies in Congress to avert a government shutdown, business leaders fear bigger problems ahead, and they're taking sides with a Democratic president whose health care and regulatory agenda they have vigorously opposed.

President Barack Obama is embracing the business outreach…

Imagine our delight.

10.01.2013

Imagine our relief

But that was then

Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union Address 

A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill
you, and then you will be a murderer!"

To be sure, what the robber demanded of me - my money - was my own; and I had a clear right to keep it; but it was no more my own than my vote is my own; and the threat of death to me, to extort my money, and the threat of destruction to the Union, to extort my vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle.

October morning

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

Play more like this

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers

Shutting down the government…

48 Ways a Government Shutdown Will Screw You Over | Mother Jones

…over a political squabble is neither conservative nor patriotic nor righteous; it is irresponsible, juvenile, and just plain wrong.

For shame.

9.30.2013

9.29.2013

Bears score 32 against Lions, still loose, now 3-1

What defense?

Constitution or no, what's wrong with this picture?

Children and Guns - The Hidden Toll - NYTimes.com

Lucas’s father, Joshua Heagren, had tried to teach the 3-year-old to respect firearms. The boy had gotten a .22 rifle for Christmas…