One of these days we might get around to fixing something really important

Like those stupid coupons they keep giving me at the drugstore. Usually, they're for hair products (I have no hair), or they're discounts on AA batteries. The only thing I own that runs on AA batteries is my mouse—everything else runs on rechargeable lithium (except one tiny AAA flashlight right over there).

I do not need battery discount coupons every time I buy toilet paper.

Of course…wait…I could always use them for…

Are we going to have an anguished Obama press conference about this?

Airstrike Hits Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan - The New York Times

"KABUL, Afghanistan — A United States airstrike appeared to have badly damaged a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in the Afghan city of Kunduz early Saturday, killing at least 19 people, including patients and staff members, and wounding dozens.…

Accounts differed as to whether there had been fighting around the hospital that might have precipitated the strike. Two hospital employees, an aide who was wounded in the bombing and a nurse who emerged unscathed, said that there had been no active fighting nearby and no Taliban fighters inside the hospital."

Where did you want him to do it, at the mall?

This Satanist Wants to Be Your Senator - The Daily Beast

"The head of Florida’s Libertarian Party resigned this week because one of the candidate’s running for Marco Rubio’s Senate seat sacrificed a goat in the woods."

Yep, this is definitely out of control

Chinese President snubs Mark Zuckerberg’s unborn child | Page Six

Joaquin teams up with Bermuda Triangle

Coast Guard says no sign of missing cargo ship | New York Post

"The last word from the El Faro came at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, when the Coast Guard learned the ship was flooding, had lost propulsion and was listing 15 degrees."

Here's a toothy story


Boyfriend’s dental hygienist ex wanted in murder-for-hire of Dallas dentist as trigger man arrested: police 

Right on cue

Whew. At least we don't have to think about that messy Oregon thing any more—we can obsess on Jeb!.

Meanwhile, I have a solution to this whole problem: Simply change the second amendment, by further amendment, to read "…the right of the people to keep and bear muzzle-loading flintlock muskets shall not be infringed."

Which is, after all, pretty much what they had in mind. (Maybe we could include knives and tomahawks.)


I really love this stuff

An email from Comcast's Xfinity regarding a potential disruptions to service from a hurricane expected to brush the East Coast:

My Account is the best way to stay up to speed on any potential outages and see when your service should be back up. You can log in online…

(We're not expecting too much trouble from Joaquin where I am, but maybe along the coast….)

These guys may not be sane but they sure are predictable

Yes Mr. President, We Do Need More Guns in Schools | RedState

While Obama's talking about an admittedly horrific (and telegenic) shooting spree in Oregon…

Chicago Starts The Week With 14 Shot In 15 Hours

Again. This kind of thing happens week after week in Chicago—2,300 shootings so far this year, according to the Chicago Tribune (and this is considered a good thing because last year by October 1 the number was 2,500). 

Just for the record.

Nobody says pop anymore

The Decline of ‘Big Soda’ - The New York Times

"Over the last 20 years, sales of full-calorie soda in the United States have plummeted by more than 25 percent. Soda consumption, which rocketed from the 1960s through 1990s, is now experiencing a serious and sustained decline."

OK, maybe somewhere in the Midwest they still do but it hardly counts. 

Take the good news where you find it

NFL has first arrest-free month in six years - NY Daily News



Trump is funny but this guy's plain scary

Ben Carson on Climate Change: 'Gravity, Where Did it Come From?' | The New Republic

"At that point, Carson detoured. Though he had been asked about climate change, he continued, 'As far as evolution is concerned, you know, I do believe in micro-evolution, or natural selection, but I believe that God gave the creatures he made the ability to adapt to their environment. Because he's very smart and he didn't want to start over every 50 years.' (More applause.)

And later in his three-minute response, he said, 'Just the way the Earth rotates on its axis, how far away it is from the sun. These are all very complex things. Gravity, where did it come from?'"

(Un) Surprise!

Hillary Clinton's Saturday Night Live surprise cameo ruined by campaign leak.

"It seems that Hillary Clinton’s team hasn’t quite figured out how this whole spontaneity thing works."

Maybe there won't always be an England

British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn says he wouldn't fire nuclear weapons.

"Think of all the great British things we could have:

» A ton of cool paintings
» The queen's hats
» Beatles stuff
» Overrated beer"

Are things starting to look a little spooky around here or what?

I think the green dot means…

Hurricane Joaquin : 5 Day Forecast Map | Weather Underground

…it’s supposed to be a mere tropical storm before it gets here but still, mere is bad enough. But maybe it will still just go away.

No need to hire a humor editor when so much is free

11 of the most interesting new Hillary Clinton e-mails - The Washington Post


John Kerry uses AO freaking L?

Like Hillary Clinton, John Kerry also uses private e-mail - The Boston Globe

"In the past Kerry has used an AOL account and a Gmail account to communicate with longtime friends, associates close to Kerry told the Globe this year. The State Department wouldn’t confirm what private account he currently uses."

Say it ain’t so. Please. And occasionally for State Department business? Where do these people come from?

And why?


Politifact says…

Donald Trump says the unemployment rate may be 42 percent

Go for it, Jeb!(!)

Jeb Bush Defends Redskins Name | TIME

I’m just along for the ride.

Everything's up to date in Kansas City

Kansas Governor Wants To Teach Residents How To Prepare For Zombies

"'If you’re prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for anything,' Brownback said in a statement. 'Although an actual zombie apocalypse will never happen, the preparation for such an event is the same as for any disaster: make a disaster kit, have a plan and practice it.' "

And not a bad idea at that.

Which, I guess, means they were

Whole Foods Will Stop Selling Products Made by Prisoners | TIME

"The company said the products should be out of its stores by April 2016, if not sooner."

And look! They still are, and you have plenty of time to go buy some.

Will it work over the fireplace?

Mom? Dad? I'm Dead ... Here Are My Tattoos

"When you think 'family heirloom,' it's natural to think of Grandpa's pocket watch or Grandma's engagement ring, but what about Uncle Jim's Bugs Bunny tattoo?"

Well yeah, but…

Just What We Need: An Algorithm to Help Politicians Pander | WIRED

"It’s a future that’s as fascinating as it is terrifying.…"

…no more terrifying than this:

M&C Saatchi's New Technology Allows Ads to Watch You Back - The Atlantic

"There are no federal laws governing the use of facial-recognition technology."

That whole NSA flap is beginning to seem quaint and old-fashioned, isn’t it?

I'm thinking about opening a clinic

Washing Dishes Is a Really Great Stress Reliever, Science Says | TIME

"While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes. This means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first glance, that might seem a little silly.…"

And on second glance too. But still.

And in what universe is this good news?

Donald Trump admits to 'childish' comments toward GOP rivals - NY Daily News

"According to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, Trump’s big lead is slowly evaporating.

He’s now in a virtual tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, the results said."

Brady deflates The Donald

Tom Brady backtracks on Donald Trump endorsement - NY Daily News


It's raining hard…

…and today is trash day. The only good news is it's not too cold yet – it's supposed to get colder as the day goes on.

But there's no more dismal way to start the day than slushing out to the curb, across the fast-running sidewalk, in the dark, bearing bags of trash. And then back, wet. Nothing.

(Well, nothing much.)


Shilling for Hill

Hillary's 'Spontaneous' Pumpkin Spice Question? It Came From a Former Staffer.

“…'planned spontaneity,' besides being the saddest oxymoron of all time, can have more serious pitfalls. Like, say, having it emerge that a Facebook Q&A question about pumpkin spice lattes meant to show off some of that humor and heart was in fact asked by one of your former staffers."


It’s Banned Books Week: Here are 5 Classic Books to Celebrate With | TIME


The end of the last warm afternoon blows quickly in

Next, October.

Buyer's remorse

Jeb Bush-fundraising: Jeb’s donors are losing patience with his flagging performance.

"That, to put it mildly, represents a serious problem for the one-time Republican front-runner."

Should have bought a newer model, more horsepower, brighter paint. Should have known.

Or, as Chicago's great original Daley, Richard J., once said, "Do you want me to do business with strangers?"

Mercury News editorial: Lawmakers want secrecy when they get money for friends - San Jose Mercury News

The pain! The pain!

Marco Rubio is catching up with Jeb Bush. Fast.

“If Jeb Bush were Jeb Jones or Jeb Johnson, he might be a George Pataki or Jim Gilmore…"

Stop! Please…please…please…

Wait, only 13?

13 Mistakes People Make in Their 20s | TIME

How come nobody told me?

No, Bunky, it's not a Hiaason novel

Florida Resident Calls 911 Because Monkey Was Sitting on a Mailbox Eating Mail | TIME

"When officers from the Sanford Police Department showed up, the monkey was found climbing a street sign. They used a water bottle to ‘lure' the animal towards their patrol car, the public information officer said, which distracted the animal for a bit. But then it leapt to the top of the vehicle and started to pull off the molding before its owner, a Sanford resident, came and identified him as ‘Zeek.'"

Get it now? Rich does not equal smart

Donald Trump is the only man to save the world, says Carl Icahn

"'His ego permits him to — where a lot of these other presidents don’t — surround himself with really good people, not just me but others,' Icahn said in an interview with Reuters."

Or even sane.

At least two, yeah!

Hillary Clinton admits she’s not a ‘pumpkin spice latte gal' - NY Daily News

"'The pumpkin spice latte is Starbucks best drink, no matter what Hillary Clinton says,' Cillizza wrote on Twitter, later noting there are 'AT LEAST two drinks worse for you at Starbucks.'"

Imagine our relief.

This UN sounds like a pretty entertaining place

Obama talks, Putin acts — guess who gets results | New York Post

"In a pair of speeches Monday before the UN General Assembly, the two presidents each made one thing abundantly clear: Obama remains firmly opposed to any assertion of US power. Putin, by contrast, has zero qualms about using Russia’s."

Hey, I wouldn't date one either

Two-thirds of women in Singapore won’t date bald men | New York Post

Don't leave, the show's not over yet

Media thumps Trump, but polls show he's winning big | TheHill

"'You can think of all kinds of reasons why Trump might not get the nomination,' said Stephen Craig, a University of Florida political science professor and an expert on public opinion. 'But the poll results we are seeing now? Those shifts aren’t enough to hang anything on.'"


The burden of being Rush

Water on Mars: Rush Limbaugh pans evidence of water on Mars as part of 'leftist agenda' - POLITICO

Limbaugh said that although he wasn’t entirely sure what the agenda was, he was going to “assume it would be something to do with global warming.”

He also talked about the burden he faces of “being right and being alone,” which he said “is a challenging existence.”

Book note

I don’t write book reviews, usually, because before I get around to reading them enough has already been said about them, and anyway it’s too much like work. But the most recent entry on the book list, Leon Uris’s Armageddon, a Novel of Berlin, is worth a note. 

Uris was a bestselling author in the 1950s and 60s, writer of Battle Cry, Exodus, QB VII, and a bunch of other big, complex mid-century novels. Armageddon, published in the mid-1960s is from that mold. It’s about post-WWII Germany, particularly Berlin; it details the setting up of a military government by the victorious allied forces, the political strife occurring in Berlin, and the Berlin Airlift (about which another book has appeared on the list this year).

It’s not a light read. But it’s interesting for its description of attitudes toward the German people and the Soviet government and people then, as contrasted with now. And it describes happenings that foreshadow recent events in the Crimea and Ukraine. If this kind of thing is your cup of tea, it’s recommended reading.

If not, keep your eye on the list. I’ll try to find something a little more entertaining (one way or another) next.


Nike Runner Missed World Record Because His Shoes Disintegrated | TIME


Especially me

Zuckerberg to the UN: The Internet Belongs to Everyone | WIRED

"Zuckerberg wants the world to understand that Internet access should be a basic human right, like access to healthcare…"

Uh huh.

Pipeline! Pipeline!

NASA Finds Liquid Water on Mars - The Daily Beast

Cover your eyes!!!

What Americans do with fish is shocking - The Washington Post

Oh wait, maybe not that shocking.

So maybe we should draw another one of those red lines?

Don't trouble us with the facts, please (what are you, some socialist commie?)

What Does Donald Trump's 'Great' America Look Like? - The Atlantic

"The bygone nation Donald Trump’s supporters yearn for looks awfully liberal, at least in terms of economic policy."

Starting with Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright: I wouldn't have approved private email server - POLITICO

"'I think that our government, generally, has to catch up with a variety of ways of using technology these days,' she added."

This is never going to end, is it

Jeb Bush defends tax breaks for wealthy - POLITICO

"The wealthiest Americans would receive sharply higher tax breaks under Jeb Bush’s tax proposal, the former Florida governor says, because they pay a disproportionate share of taxes in the first place."

Here’s the data [PDF]. Do the math for yourself. (Or I could recommend a good tax accountant.)

Everything gets worse

Ben Carson Neck and Neck With Donald Trump in New Poll

Or better.

Bernie Sanders has also made new inroads against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

[Full disclosure: Clinton is not the secretary of state but who cares.]

Moon over Manhattan (and elsewhere)

Stellar supermoon takes to skies during lunar eclipse - NY Daily News


If you're anywhere the moon is this evening…

How to See a Once-in-a-Generation Supermoon Eclipse This Weekend | TIME


At last, somebody speaks up for the rich guys

Jeb Bush defends tax breaks for wealthy - POLITICO

Not encouraging at all

Only Trump understands how angry the average American is | New York Post

“…as a conservative, I fail to see how Trump is anything but a flaming liberal compared to Bush, Rubio and every other Republican candidate."

A long, long time ago in a far, far distant past…

Complex Car Software Becomes the Weak Spot Under the Hood - The New York Times

"New high-end cars are among the most sophisticated machines on the planet, containing 100 million or more lines of code. Compare that with about 60 million lines of code in all of Facebook or 50 million in the Large Hadron Collider."

…as anyone who’s ever seen Grease or Rebel Without a Cause or dozens of other movies and TV shows (or actually been there) knows, geeks hacked cars. They rebuilt engines, adjusted suspensions, pried off chrome. 

This looks like even more fun.

Just a quick note to Bill

Bill Clinton Blames G.O.P. and Press for Wife's Email Woes - First Draft. Political News, Now. - The New York Times

"'She said she was sorry that her personal email caused all this confusion,' Mr. Clinton said."

Sorry, Bill. It’s not her personal email that’s concerning me. And I am not confused.