Shut up and eat your sprouts

Muslim students banned from fasting during Ramadan at four British schools - The Washington Post

When's the last time you heard somebody called chipper?

Trade deal: Obama tells Democrats a vote against trade is a vote against me - POLITICO

"‘It’s déjà vu all over again,’ a chipper White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday, praising what he called ‘bipartisan support’ for the legislation."

Or maybe that’s a typo. Chirper?

This is going to be such an awesomely awsome summer, I can't wait

Republican primary 2016: Mitt Romney's new mission - POLITICO

"DEER VALLEY, Utah — Mitt Romney is working with an unlikely collaborator — Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who bankrolled Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign — in the hopes of ensuring that the GOP primary produces a mainstream conservative without any of the mayhem that marked his own race."

Meanwhile, I was at the Farmer’s Market this morning and noticed the farmers haven’t got around to much farming yet but they are selling grass-fed beef for $15 per pound (which reminds me I need to add baloney to my grocery list), potted herbs, and bread (six bucks for a loaf of white bread? really?)—but the place was humming with conspiracy theories about the new gas pipeline coming through (or not coming through—we’re against it of course): I can’t wait for the FBI to get involved and maybe even the Department of Gas. I wonder who’s got the popcorn contract.

Another thing I wonder about is…

IMG 2060


…what is compost-based soil mix from New York and why is it any better than plain old dirt from the U. S. of A., and what kind of organs are in this organic fertilizer anyway? I guess everybody else knows this stuff, but I am out of it. 





The beginning of everything

Wake Up to Deep-Fried Starbucks Coffee at the San Diego County Fair | TIME

Hey, that sounds sort of like a loan!

Chris Christie Suggests College Students Should Sell Themselves To Investors To Pay Tuition | ThinkProgress

"Christie also mentioned income share agreements, which allow students to essentially issue stock in themselves. It allows people to invest in college students, or to ‘own human capital contracts,’ which means that an investor could pay a portion of the student’s tuition to attend college in exchange for that student giving the investor a certain percentage of their income for so many years."

See how many times you can say "chicken chain" real fast

Happy Birthday, Popeyes Chicken | TIME

" And, in the last 40 years, Americans have made it clear that they have room in their hearts and stomachs for another chicken chain."

Dude: If you insist

Trade deal: Obama tells Democrats a vote against trade is a vote against me - POLITICO

Not enough straw men

Iowa GOP straw poll is dead: Why Hawkeye State Republicans cancelled one of their biggest fundraisers.

"‘I’ve said since December that we would only hold a straw poll if the candidates wanted one, and this year that is just not the case,’ state GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a statement."

Imagine our joy

Sure, this'll fly.

Could Showing Porn In Sex Ed Class Help Teens Develop Healthy Relationships? | ThinkProgress

Look, if you're expecting any of this to make sense you've come to the wrong place

U.S. Has No Idea How Long It Will Keep an ISIS Bride Locked Up - The Daily Beast

"Obama administration officials have said that the U.S. is engaged in a lawful conflict with ISIS, authorized by the grant of force against al Qaeda and its associates that Congress passed in 2001. ISIS has been disavowed by al Qaeda, but the administration continues to see the two groups as linked, and therefore ISIS is legally covered by the 2001 authorization, officials argue."

And who can you trust if you can't trust your cable company?

Court Rejects Plea to Block FCC's Net-Neutrality Rules - NationalJournal.com

"The Internet providers say they only oppose classifying Internet service as a utility, and not the principle of net neutrality itself. But the FCC argues that overturning the regulatory classification would leave the rules unenforceable."

Everybody wants their 140 characters

(It's just a screen grab, not a link, because 140 characters is not all they want; they want money too. A paywall on the local rag. The nerve.

(Meanwhile, we've decided it's time to figure out how Twitter works and get to using it. Because it's there. And also because it's a Twitter world. And anyway it's fun, and we can fool around with all kinds of new apps and stuff. Why not?)

Blood-sucking! Whoa! Nobody said anything about blood-sucking

Why these mysterious, blood-sucking fish fell from the Alaskan sky - The Washington Post

"It all began outside of Value Village in Fairbanks, Alaska. Somehow, a strange-looking eel-like fish -- equipped with teeth perfect for latching onto another animal and sucking its blood -- ended up in the thrift store's parking lot last week.

"Oh, and the fish was alive."

We’re outta here.


Imagine our relief

Veganism has made Beyoncé even hotter | Page Six

Rs, Fox to field JV team

Fox to offer exposure to candidates who don’t make debate cut | OnPolitics

"‘The candidates who do not qualify for the primetime GOP primary debate will be among those invited to participate in the 90-minute forum, which is part of the additional planned candidate coverage previously announced by the network,’ Fox said in a statement."

Whatever it is, I'm against it

There used to be a blog by that name, Whatever It Is, I’m Against It, back in the halcyon days of Dubya, but it seems to have fallen off the radar: Too bad.  Still, the sentiment makes a perfect motto for we denizens of this pleasant valley.

Therefore, to wit and forthwith:

Groucho Marx - I'm Against It - YouTube

This is the internet and abuse is what we're all about rah rah (except when it's not)

Redditors Call CEO Ellen Pao A Nazi, Ask Her To Resign For Deleting Abusive Threads | ThinkProgress

Flop once, shame on me, flop twice…no, wait, something something can't flop again

PepsiCo poised to revive 1990s flop Crystal Pepsi - CBS News

We say wait for the Interstate

Is it Safe to Climb Everest Again?

Don't confuse us with the details, please

Is there a renaissance in US manufacturing? Numbers don't add up

"That's because since the Great Recession, manufacturing is down 3.2 percent, according to an eye-opening report by the nonpartisan Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). It notes there are now 15,000 fewer production facilities in the U.S. than in 2007—and 2 million fewer jobs."

Four walked away

Truck Hauling Sharks To New York Aquarium Crashes In Florida « CBS New York

"The sharks that survived were to complete their trip to Brooklyn once workers from SeaWorld could transfer them safely to another tank, WKMG reported."


Our heart goes out

Super PAC backing Jeb Bush unlikely to hit $100 million by end of June - The Washington Post

"It is possible that Bush will approach the $100 million figure if his campaign includes the entire sprawling political apparatus that he and his allies have built since January. By the end of the month, that operation will include a super PAC, a leadership PAC, a nonprofit and the soon-to-be announced campaign."

At least the poor guy can still get food stamps, right?


Blackberry is so over

Man dies after trying to eat tablet, reports say - CNET

"The Sputnik News cannot help but add: 'It is unknown whether the deadly device was Android or Apple.'"

Getting a little frisky there, aren't we?

Unmarried Sen. Graham: If I’m President, There Will Be A ‘Rotating First Lady’

"‘I’m actually a fun guy. I'm a lot of fun to hang around with. Just ask people who know me,’ Graham said. ‘I think I've got a pretty good reputation of bein' easygoing.’"



One Nation, Under Sedation: Medicare Paid for Nearly 40 Million Tranquilizer Prescriptions in 2013 - ProPublica

"Some geriatric psychiatrists worry that doctors may have turned to the drugs in place of antipsychotic medications to sedate patients with conditions such as dementia. In the past several years, Medicare has pushed to reduce the use of antipsychotics, particularly in nursing homes, because of strong warnings about their risks."

So the donuts just…arrive?

Dunkin' Donuts Is Testing Out a Delivery Service

"'Delivery is clearly a big opportunity,' the global doughnut chain's chairman and CEO, Nigel Travis, told CNBC in an interview Monday. 'The trend in this country is convenience.'"

We are so relieved

Jeb Bush: 'I'm running for president' | TheHill

"He’s not the first prospective candidate to accidentally refer to a likely campaign as official. Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) twice told reporters that he was running before telling The Hill that he misspoke."

Good news for cheeseheads in a rush

Wisconsin lawmakers approve killing gun waiting period, NRA cheers | Sun Times National

"On Tuesday, the state Assembly passed the proposal that repeals a 1976 law which created a ‘cooling off’ period in addition for time to allow for background checks of gun purchasers."

Pig out

'Giggles the Pig' pulls out of Flint mayor's race | Sun Times National

"Michael Ewing started the campaign for his pet pig after a city council member with a criminal past decided to run for mayor. Ewing also was banking on ‘Giggles’ getting a boost from a filing deadline error that would have kept all candidates’ names off the ballot."

Rules, rules

Massachusetts State Police charge Hampden County driver with harassing horseback riders with pickup truck | masslive.com

"Every person operating a motor vehicle shall bring the vehicle and the motor propelling it immediately to a stop when approaching a cow, horse or other draft animal being led, ridden or driven, if such animal appears to be frightened and if the person in charge thereof shall signal so to do…"

Make yourself completely bonkers with bacon pancakes

PointlessSites.com - Fun Things To Do When You're Bored

(It’s video. Be warned.)


Support for Boston’s 2024 Olympic Bid Slips - NYTimes.com

"BOSTON — More bad news arrived Wednesday for the boosters of Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics: A new poll shows that just 39 percent of voters statewide support the bid, while 49 percent oppose it."

Tin for Yogi

Editorial: Yogi Berra’s necessary day - NY Daily News

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

Everybody's happy if

The long-running (and unchanging) Wall Street primary between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush - The Washington Post

"A 'Republican-leaning Wall Street lawyer said over lunch in midtown' for that article that, 'if it turns out to be Jeb versus Hillary we would love that and either outcome would be fine. We could live with either one.' The remarks by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein that either Bush or Clinton would be great -- remarks that Martin O'Malley is doing his current best to make famous and undercut Clinton -- are also referenced. 'Those would be two very good choices and we’d be perfectly happy with them,' a 'person close to Blankfein' told White and Haberman."


Don't mess with me

This Is A Snake-Mimicking Butterfly And It’s Terrifying

H/T Some Guy in Seattle

Securing government web sites is just toooo hard, guy says

NASA IT Guy to White House: Please Don't Make Us Encrypt All Our Websites | Motherboard

"His main concern is that for cash-strapped agencies, the costs of implementing HTTPS will outweigh the benefits, and that, essentially, implementing HTTPS might be too hard for some of these government bodies."

White on a rainy day

I don't want to know any more about this, ever

Child finding gun in John Boehner’s bathroom upsets groups - NY Daily News

No wonder they had to take bribes

FIFA-financed movie nets only $900 in limited US release

"'United Passions' initially was released in a handful of European markets last summer, timed to the 2014 World Cup. Screen Media, which declined to report the film's weekend grosses, acquired it for U.S. distribution, focusing on a video-on-demand and digital release. It paid low six-figures for the rights."

Meanwhile, about that "no boots on the ground" business, blah blah blah

A Raid on ISIS Yields a Trove of Intelligence - NYTimes.com

"WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have extracted valuable information about the Islamic State’s leadership structure, financial operations and security measures by analyzing materials seized during a Delta Force commando raid last month that killed a leader of the terrorist group in eastern Syria, according to United States officials."


I don't know what kind of tree this fuzzy-looking thing is

IMG 2052

We are touched, really touched…

…by the Justice Department’s tender concern for some sport where you can’t touch the ball with your hands, but we can’t help thinking those FIFA fellows would have been better off if they’d just let Wall Street handle their affairs. 

Maybe we need more numbers for catches; 22 is getting overused

I’ve Read Obama’s Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned. | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

"So-called ‘cleared advisors’ like me are prohibited from sharing publicly the criticisms we’ve lodged about specific proposals and approaches. The government has created a perfect Catch 22: The law prohibits us from talking about the specifics of what we’ve seen, allowing the president to criticize us for not being specific."

This is definitely a catch, though. No argument there.

Yucks re: yaks


"As soon as Stormy left, one of Angie's teenage sons started tracking the chronic runaway. The bull has broken loose two other times and earned the nickname 'Wimpy' for his last escape."

A web site worth visiting

America’s most popular voting guide for elections, political issues, candidates, and poll data

"Take the quiz and see which political party you side with"

When a No. 2 pencil is not enough

Drone is latest weapon against cheating in China school exam

"No such signals were detected Sunday, the first day of the test, a Henan province news website said. Almost all Chinese high school graduates must take the test, and their scores are the key criterion for which tier of university they can enter."


What does it look like?


"A female resident awoke to noise in her kitchen, and found Waits allegedly wiping down a countertop and baking a potato in her microwave oven, police said. 'She asked him what he was doing there, and he told her he was making a potato,' according to a police report."



"Authorities say the March 2014 robbery in Toms River occurred the day after Miller had been released from prison after finishing his 15-year sentence for the first robbery. Police say Miller made off with $389 and fled on foot with the employees' cellphones."

File under Stuff We Quit Reading Right Here

Caitlyn Jenner -- When Ideology Trumps Nature | National Review Online

"Don’t worry, I remain devoted to keeping this ‘news’letter news free."

Follow your nose (or not)

Beautiful maps of what our cities actually smell like - The Washington Post

"Smelling your way around a big city can be a hazardous undertaking. In just a few steps, pleasant aromas of flowers and food can give way to car exhaust, ripe garbage and pee-soaked dog parks."

Yeah, keep your stuff off the bridge

Paris bridge’s locks of love taken down

"Bruno Julliard, the deputy mayor in charge of culture, who supervised the removal of the locks, tried to be sensitive to the feelings of those who had placed them there, saying that Paris was still 'the capital of love, the capital of romance.'

"But he urged people to find other ways to express their fervency."

(The Times story this morning put the total weight of locks being removed at 45 tons. Part of the lock ritual was to toss the key into the river Seine below. Nobody’s said anything about dredging up the keys, so there’s that.)