Bernie steals a play from the Donald's book

Sanders gets the fight he wanted - POLITICO

Yes, Virginia, the DNC is in the tank for Clinton and scheduling Saturday-night “debates” is just one part of it. Bernie needs all the exposure he can get and here’s one way to do it.

(And Clinton getting upset about the security of her data is pretty amusing, too.)

No place like DC for the holidays (errr, Christmas)

Lurking Within That Ominous, Omnibus Spending Bill - BillMoyers.com

"There is an unwritten rule in Congress that before you do even a little for the working class you must do a lot for the donor class. So while the $1.1 trillion — yes, that’s a 't' — budget bill now winding its way to passage contains some tax breaks for low-income workers, in reality, it’s a bonanza for Big Business."

Might need some of those Insta-Worms

(And also 20% of Dems)

You just can not make stuff like this up

Harvard apologizes for handing out social justice talking points for holidays | Education | The Guardian

"The 'holiday placemats for social justice' advised students on how to talk to their families over the holidays about Syrian refugees, police killings, student activism and the controversy over the 'house master' title which the University recently stopped using."

Losers take War on Christmas (WOC) international

Angry single men stage anti-Christmas rally in Tokyo - Al Arabiya News

"Anti-Christmas protesters calling themselves 'Losers with Women' marched through Tokyo’s streets Saturday, bashing the upcoming holiday as a capitalist ploy that also discriminates against singletons.

"'In this world, money is extracted from people in love, and happy people support capitalism,’ [sic] said the head of the organisation, formally called Kakumeiteki Hi-mote Domei, or the Revolutionary Losers’ League."

–Filed by our Pacific Rim bureau.

Now for this message from Captain Obvious

Mysterious 14,000-year-old leg bone may belong to archaic human species - CSMonitor.com

–Lynn C Dot

Orthopedics in the news

2015 Is the Year the FCC Finally Grew a Spine | WIRED

Fed finally shows backbone by raising interest rates | New York Post

There'll always be an England

Slice of royal wedding cake sells for $1,375 - NY Daily News

"Bidding began at $1,100 for what the auction house described as 'classic British fruitcake with cream cheese frosting.'"


Feel the Bern

Might be missing a few (I don't always remember to click)

But in case you missed the when they scrolled down the list…

Goodreads | Ted’s Year in Books

OK, partially weirdo then

Kidless adults in Portland, Ore., are waiting 90 minutes to visit Hipster Santa

"A little further back in line was Summer Michaud-Skog, a nanny who went to see Hipster Santa with her 5-year-old charge. She was glad for the excuse to come to the mall to see Santa because she didn’t want to go by herself 'like a total weirdo,' though she did notice plenty of adults in line without kids."

Deck stacked

Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders Bristle at Holding Debates on Weekends - First Draft. Political News, Now. - The New York Times

"'We’re playing the hand we were dealt,' said Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders. 'I guess Christmas Eve was booked.'"

In Virginia, terrorist penmanship

Entire school district closed over calligraphy lesson | New York Post

"Anger over the lesson has escalated since a teacher at Riverheads High School had students in her class complete an assignment one week ago. It involved practicing calligraphy and writing a statement in Arabic."

Shocker! Hillary data compromised on the internet!

Bernie Sanders Campaign Is Disciplined for Breaching Hillary Clinton Data - First Draft. Political News, Now. - The New York Times

"The Democratic National Committee has told the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont that it was suspending its access to its voter database after a software error enabled at least one of his staff members to review Hillary Clinton’s private campaign data."

These people have no business even working for the government, let alone leading it. We need people who, at the very least, know what century we’re in.


Keeping America safe, one Aikido Master at a time

Aikido Master Demonstrates The One Self-Defense Move Everyone Needs To Know

[Noted by Some Guy in Seattle.]

Doesn't beat a big box of cookies, but OK

The Norwegian plan to gift Finland a mountain - The Washington Post

"Dubbing their project 'Halti as an anniversary gift,' the organizers say that Norway should give Finland the peak of the mountain to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Finland's declaration of independence from the Russian Republic in 1917."

Finally, what I want to be when I grow up

These Brooklyn hipsters built a cult around a $10 artisanal chocolate bar. But is it real? - The Washington Post

“…chocolate reviewer Georg Bernardini wrote…"

A chocolate reviewer! What kind of great job would that be?

(And also, not exactly, it seems.)


And how's that working out?

Gun safety instructor shoots pastor during demonstration in California - CBS News

"The shooting incident comes at a time when church members in California are training to carry concealed weapons in response to recent mass shootings…"

Maybe he should become a retired presidential candidate too

Ben Carson: "Very likely would be a one-term president" - CBS News

"Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson believes that he would only serve in the White House for a single term if he wins the 2016 presidential election, saying that unpopular policies he plans to enact would sink any chances of getting elected a second time."

And now a word from Captain Obvious

Rich Children and Poor Ones Are Raised Very Differently - The New York Times


Now the go-to way to get out of a test?

Anacostia High School in D.C. evacuated over bomb threat - Washington Times

Happened at UCONN a week or so ago. And then, of course, Los Angeles the other day…

Canadian guy does not like Trump…

Justin Trudeau takes on Donald Trump - Macleans.ca

…but Russian guy does.

Putin says Trump is ‘absolute leader’ in U.S. presidential race - The Washington Post

What hath Tom Crapper wrought?

Japan has a thing for toilets, and now a dedicated museum - The Washington Post

"The government this year launched the Japan Toilet Prize, part of a campaign to improve quality of life by improving the quality of restrooms."

We ran across this quote from Jeb!…

…in a New York Times editorial this morning—addressing a National Rifle Association convention in 2003 he "exuberantly declared [the Times words there]:

“The sound of our guns is the sound of freedom!” 

Meanwhile, this piece from The Atlantic, about the history of the Second Amendment, is well worth reading:

The Misguided Second Amendment Interpretations of Justices Scalia and Thomas - The Atlantic

" The history of the Second Amendment…supports a robust public power to regulate guns for reasons of public safety."

If the TeeVee bores your socks off…

These smart socks pause Netflix if you fall asleep - Dec. 17, 2015



In a galaxy far, far away

Ipsos Calls 2016 Election for Obi Wan Kenobi | Ipsos

"In a head-to-head matchup among Millennials: Yoda (50%) would beat Hillary Clinton (26%) handily. Even among the general public, the margin is 41% for the candidate from Dagobah and 25% for Clinton"

Hey, never too young to learn

And why would we want to bomb the carpets anyway?

Ted Cruz misfires on definition of 'carpet bombing' in GOP debate | PolitiFact

"What Cruz described isn’t carpet bombing. What he described is actually the opposite of carpet bombing."

Yeah, but is it clean?

Lawsuit: Popular Shampoo Makes Your Hair Fall Out


At least it's a try

Crowded at the bottom

These Are the Least-Effective Members of Congress | InsideGov


It's not just sleigh rides anymore

Santastic! Santa Clauses go extreme


Maybe we should put these guys on some kind of watch list too

Is Cruz In Trouble for Leaking Classified Info?

"It's impossible from the outside to know whether or not Cruz did in fact release protected information. We don't know the details of what was being discussed or which parts of it are considered classified. As with the controversy over Hillary Clinton's emails, much of the question itself is shot through with politics, inherent ambiguity and as often as not dealing with information which may be technically classified but shouldn't be because of rampant over-classification."

R's join Clinton on encryption

In last night’s CNN debate the R’s—all the R’s who matter, anyway—joined Clinton (and the other D candidates as well) in supporting government access to encrypted communications, an outrageously stupid, unqualified disaster of an idea which disqualifies them from being president or holding any other government job. Period.

Providing the government with access to encrypted communications, for whatever reason, would involve either building a weakness—a “back door”—into encryption software or providing a “front door” in the form of some kind of master key. Both of these approaches are terrible ideas because—as Edward Snowden and his merry band of accomplices have clearly demonstrated—even the most closely-held secrets will out in the end. Information wants to be free, as the geeks of old proclaimed.

And when that happens, when the back doors and keys are generally known, the internet will be useless for anything except transmitting pictures of cats and Kardashians. (And even that will be risky—see “steganography.”)

We need a new candidate who understands the 21st Century, and quick.

New York Post sums up

Chris Christie just made the GOP race a lot more interesting | New York Post

"Jeb is toast."

A breath of fresh air

Beijing's Air Is So Bad, the Sale of Bottled Canadian Mountain Air Is Soaring | VICE News

"And Vitality Air isn't the only business capitalizing on the smog. On Monday, a restaurant in Jiangsu Province was caught adding an 'air cleaning fee' to customers' bills, some media reported. "


Today in First World Problems

Roadshow: My light rail commute is killing my ears - San Jose Mercury News


When you run out of ideas

And I mean really, totally, completely, end-of-the-world out and nothing, nothing, makes any sense any more…

Christmas Sweaters - Photos - Holiday gift guide 2015: Festive sweaters for the holidays - NY Daily News


And if not, he may just explode

Trump’s doctor says health is ‘astonishingly excellent' - NY Daily News

"Donald Trump’s personal doctor claims GOP front-runner’s health is ‘astonishingly excellent’ — ‘If elected ... will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency’"

You know where this is going, right?

The best funny, clever, or offensive science paper titles.

1) Head and Neck Injury Risks in Heavy Metal: Head Bangers Stuck Between Rock and a Hard Bass

2) A Lucky Catch: Fishhook Injury of the Tongue.

3) Crazy Like a Fox: Validity and Ethics of Animal Models of Human Psychiatric Disease.

Right. To our work avoidance hotlist, as soon as we get a round tuit.


Narrowing things right down

Polls Suggest Trump Will Win Between 8 Percent And 64 Percent Of The Vote | FiveThirtyEight

Why even bother with an election then?

Whoa, maybe there really is a war on Christmas


[The AP's headline: "Obama aims to allay concerns about terror-fighting strategy."]

Back to the future in Iowa

I've run across some pretty bad team names, but…

Hoggers record 3 blowout wins in Scholar Roundball Classic | The Recorder

"The Northfield Mount Hermon School boys’ basketball team had another good weekend as the Hoggers won all three games they played at the Scholar Roundball Classic at Babson College in Wellesley."

…Hoggers? Really?

If you're an econ wonk, this one's for you

Destroying the Death Star was a huge mistake - The Washington Post


What starts out good but ends really, really bad?

The mysterious case of America’s plummeting gun violence - The Washington Post

After San Bernardino, everyone wants to be a ‘good guy with a gun’ - The Washington Post

Dude, this will absolutely not end well

Google’s chairman wants algorithms to censor the internet for hate speech - Quartz

"'It’s our responsibility to demonstrate that stability and free expression go hand in hand,' he writes. 'We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media—sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment.'

"His words came just after Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, called on Silicon Valley to 'disrupt ISIL' last weekend in Washington DC. Clinton said it is crucial to 'deprive jihadists of virtual territory' by shutting off their means of communication."

[Emphasis added.]

It's that darn old Thomas Jefferson guy again

The fascinating history of how Jefferson and other Founding Fathers defended Muslim rights - The Washington Post



Trump: Not wrong every time

Trump To Republicans: 'I'm Sorry I Did This To You'

"'Look, I understand what they're going through. I wasn't supposed to be here. I was a member of the establishment seven months ago,' Trump said. 'I’m not supposed to be doing this. You see I’m supposed to be on the other side writing checks and having people do whatever I want, puppets, like puppets.'"

Allay away

Obama aims to allay concerns about terror-fighting strategy

"Obama's schedule includes a Monday stop at the Pentagon for a rare meeting outside the White House by his National Security Council…"

Anything can happen in DC

Carl Hiaasen: Bulletin — Rubio sighting in the Capitol | Miami Herald

"The Senate was considering a law to prevent persons on the FBI’s terror watch list from buying explosives or guns. To most Americans, that’s a no-brainer.

"Rubio showed up to vote against the bill. Went out of his way to vote against it.

"This was only one day after the mass shootings in San Bernardino."

No way am I going to say something like this around here

Snow on Christmas in Chicago looks doubtful


Bold in Badgerland

Wisconsin Regents Back Free Speech - The New York Times

"As the meeting drew to a close, the students stood and demanded to talk. One of them read a speech about how the resolution would open the door to hate speech. The regents ignored him and made their closing remarks as he continued to shout."