An actual Hillary email released by the State Department yesterday, Feb. 26



And you think you’re not being played?

February sky

The popcorn lobby must be loving this year

Inside the Republican Party’s Desperate Mission to Stop Donald Trump - The New York Times

"Efforts to unite warring candidates behind one failed spectacularly: An overture from Senator Marco Rubio to Mr. Christie angered and insulted the governor. An unsubtle appeal from Mitt Romney to John Kasich, about the party’s need to consolidate behind one rival to Mr. Trump, fell on deaf ears. At least two campaigns have drafted plans to overtake Mr. Trump in a brokered convention, and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has laid out a plan that would have lawmakers break with Mr. Trump explicitly in a general election."

It’s more fun than watching a train wreck, especially since there is a growing suspicion in neighboring precincts that The Donald could make Clinton melt, like the Wicked Witch of the West (or East, or wherever—I never could keep them straight). If we put this contest on pay-per-view we could settle the national debt.

The good news is, this whole thing could be settled by March 16. And then we can move on to obsessing about 2020 (and what the iPhone 7 will be like).

Before this is over you're going to need a hard drive

The 199 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List - The New York Times

"In the seven months since declaring his candidacy for president, Donald Trump has used Twitter to lob insults at presidential candidates, journalists, news organizations, nations, a Neil Young song and even a lectern in the Oval Office.…"

Noted by our Midwest and Elsewhere Bureau.


"Republican" and "orgy melon" are two terms that don't often go together

Ben Carson’s GOP debate ‘fruit salad’ comment goes viral - NY Daily News

"The "fruit salad" zinger quickly went viral, with social media users cluttering the Internet with an orgy melon [sic], pineapple and banana salads as well as a delicious rush of fruit-based GIFs."

These guys are not on your side (nor likely to be)

Inside The Obama Administration’s Attempt To Bring Tech Companies Into The Fight Against ISIS - BuzzFeed News

"But inside the conference room, as dozens of participants met and workshopped various tactics to battle ISIS’s seemingly inexhaustible PR machine, one thing became abundantly clear — there remains, inside the U.S. government, a huge cognitive dissonance. The DOJ called the meeting in the midst of rising anti-Muslim sentiment across the country, fed by the campaign of Donald Trump, and yet failed to include more than a small handful of Muslims in the meeting. And while the meeting appealed for help from the tech community, tensions between Washington and Silicon Valley are at an all time high as the FBI seeks to set a precedent by forcing Apple to help them break into a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters."

And wait, there’s more:

Obama Administration Set to Expand Sharing of Data That N.S.A. Intercepts - The New York Times

"WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is on the verge of permitting the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them, according to officials familiar with the deliberations."

Meanwhile every one of the R’s at last night’s debate came down in favor of forcing Apple to hack iPhones (if you think they’re talking about just one iPhone or, for that matter, just Apple, maybe you ought to be running for president yourself—you’d fit right in).

These guys are not thinking about protecting thee nor me, darlin’, they are thinking only of protecting their own sorry butts from blame if anything (when anything, really) goes wrong.

The end of everything, again (when will it end?)

Who Won the Debate? Attacks on Donald Trump Help Marco Rubio More - The New York Times

“Tonight we saw another spirited debate between the most diverse and well-qualified group of presidential candidates in history.” — Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee

That Lincoln guy, he was nothing compared to The Donald. And don’t even get me started on John Adams.


It's just a big ol' iWorld now

Solid support for Apple in iPhone encryption fight: poll | Reuters

""People are very distrusting of everybody, but Americans actually trust Apple a bit more than the government on some issues," Jackson said."

No trumping Trump

How to Stop Donald Trump Now - There's Only One Way

"Unless something completely untoward happens, He, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. At the moment, Ted Cruz can't catch him because no human being on earth likes Ted Cruz except his mother, and she could be jiving, too. Young Marco Rubio can't catch him because Young Marco Rubio is a big bag of feathers. Neither one of them is willing to step aside for the other. And John Kasich, quite frankly, is drawing to a low inside straight. In the Republican party in the year of our Lord 2016, He, Trump is simply the man of the historical moment."

Hanky-panky up there in Wisconsin

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley: Uncle who served at Iwo Jima unable to vote

"Bradley's uncle, Leo Olson of Reedsburg, tried to use his veterans ID card to vote in last week's primary for a seat on the state Supreme Court, but that form of identification can't be used under the state's voter ID law."

A feature, not a bug

Woman finds $600 pearl in her dinner | New York Post


Normally I don't pay much attention to Ann Coulter, but in this case…

Talking Head Twit Of The Year Contest | The Daily Caller

"The cluelessness of the GOP pundit class is infuriating, but may ultimately be our salvation. Nothing they say about anything is ever right, even accidentally."


Scalia reportedly on Texas hunting trip with members of exclusive Austrian hunting fraternity.

"According to the Post, the lodge that hosted the hunting trip Scalia was on in West Texas earlier this month also hosted “high-ranking members of an exclusive fraternity for hunters called the International Order of St. Hubertus, an Austrian society that dates back to the 1600s.” The ranch’s owner, John Poindexter, and Scalia’s travel partner were both members of the organization and two other private planes that landed at the ranch for the weekend were also linked to the group, according to the Post."

Has there ever been a more entertaining year? Even the weather is more fun. And it’s only February!

"The establishment is having conniptions"

Robert Reich: The establishment is dying - Salon.com

"The establishment doesn’t get that most Americans couldn’t care less about economic growth because for years they’ve got few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.

"Most people are more concerned about economic security and a fair chance to make it."

(It’s been a good season for excellent words.)

HT/ Charlie from Wisconsin

Whistling past the graveyard with the New York Times

Donald Trump Keeps Winning. Here’s What Could Make Him Lose. - The New York Times



The poets weep

How Facebook whittled gamut of human emotions down to six reactions - CSMonitor.com


Sounds unreal, but it's not

University of Houston professors told to consider dropping sensitive topics from curriculum as new law lets students bring concealed handguns to classrooms

And in Massachusetts news…

Goat gets behind the wheel and sensibly turns on hazard lights | New York Post

"Robertson says she was on her way home with her new goat Sunday…"

And who you gonna believe, the Clintons or your lying eyes?

Hillary: I’m being held to a different standard | New York Post

"Clinton argued that she has a strong plan to take on Wall Street and that she’s been transparent about her positions to rein in big banks."

Never say never, Bunky

Donald Trump Wins Nevada Caucuses, Collecting Third Straight Victory - The New York Times

"“We’re seeing a backlash in the United States that we’ve never seen before,” said Neville Cramer, 65, a Trump supporter from Las Vegas."

Or at least since 1861.

(And no, I’m not advocating another 1861. I’m advocating Bernie’s plan to send more people to freaking school.)

A pretty low bar if you ask me

The coming problem of our iPhones being more intelligent than us - The Washington Post

"Within seven years — about when the iPhone 11 is likely to be released — the smartphones in our pockets will be as computationally intelligent as we are."

I used to know a successful electrical engineer who carried a slide rule to calculate tips in restaurants. Now, Siri can do it (go ahead, try).

And a slide rule is beyond the computational intelligence of most people.


Maybe it's all the snow

The flip side of Clinton’s strength among black voters: She’s weaker among whites - The Washington Post

“I don’t want to say anything negative about Hillary Clinton, because she’s not a bad candidate,” said Sharla Gardner, a former Duluth city council member who is now running for the state Senate and who backed Clinton at first. “But she’s not the best candidate. She doesn’t start from a place of can-do. Her campaign is ‘No, we can’t,’ and that attitude is actually harming the working poor. It’s forcing the working poor to buy insurance policies they can’t afford, because the deductibles are so high.”

That didn't take long

Justice Department Wants Apple to Unlock Nine More iPhones - The New York Times

"Since challenging a judge’s demand in the San Bernardino case, which called for Apple to create a special tool to help investigators more easily crack the phone’s passcode, the company has repeatedly asserted that such a move could not be done in isolation."

So much for just this one iPhone, just this one time.

In the old adage…

The Donald Trump Forwarded Email Presidential Campaign

"Every family has at least one: That aunt, or brother-in-law, or second cousin who forwards chain emails, or posts social-media tidbits that advance spectacular but easily refuted claims."

…if voters want their mommy they vote Democratic, if they want their daddy they vote Republican…and now it turns out, maybe, if they want their loopy uncle they vote for Donald Trump. (Or Bernie?)

Boston Herald goes with the kid

Editorial: Massachusetts, and nation, are ready for Marco Rubio | Boston Herald

Now it is clear that, in what is for all practical purposes a three-way race, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida represents the Republicans’ best hope to bring the party and the country together.""

Can you spell "panic"?

From this morning's Washington Post

Great! Lakes!

Mesmerizing ice stacking on Lake Superior

HT/ Some Guy in Seattle


US, Russia agree on sort of ceasing fire, more or less

US, Russia agree on plan for Syria cease-fire - Yahoo News

"DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — U.S. officials said Monday that the United States and Russia have agreed on a plan for a cease-fire in Syria starting Saturday that would exclude attacks on the Islamic State group and al-Qaida's local affiliate."

Yeats on 2016

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.…

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

–W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming

And by the way, how dumb is Batman if he gets in a fight with Superman?

Apple v FBI: engineers would be ashamed to break their own encryption | Technology | The Guardian

"It’s like asking Superman to engineer his own kryptonite"

Now all we need is somebody with a really big finger

Massive 404-Carat Diamond Discovered in Angola - Yahoo


Does just denying global warming make it go away?

Congrats! D.C. is the only city east of the Rockies having a ‘severe’ winter - The Washington Post



So he's a wizard at math too

Every Day Carson Remains in the Race is Further Proof that His Campaign is a Scam | RedState

"After being spanked by the voters of South Carolina, Ben Carson took the stage and excused his loss by saying that it was entirely possible that Donald Trump would get all the delegates from South Carolina, so really he did just as well as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Therefore, he was no bigger a loser than any of the rest of them, and he would continue to press on."

Maybe she's in the wrong line of work

Card draw gives Clinton edge over Sanders in Nevada precinct - NY Daily News

"Clinton was awarded one delegate in a tie precinct in the town of Pahrump after her precinct caption bested Sanders’ in a card draw, the Wall Street Journal reported.…

Coin tosses were used to determine a winner in seven precincts in Iowa where Clinton edged Sanders by a razor-thin margin."

I wonder how she does with the ponies.

Who? Grumpy? Moi?

Carrot cake Hershey’s Kisses are an abomination | New York Post

"In keeping with Hunter S. Thompson’s dictum that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro, the folks at Hershey have decided to bring out a Hershey’s Carrot Cake Kiss for Easter."

Is Hillary Clinton the most defeatist presidential candidate ever?

Clinton: It’s ‘wrong’ for Bernie Sanders to make campaign promises he can’t keep - The Washington Post

"HOUSTON — Fresh off her victory in Nevada, Hillary Clinton sought to turn Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s promises of cheap government-run health care and free college tuition into a liability at a late-night rally in Texas on Saturday night."

Dude. Seriously. From the BBC:

"While the cost of college education in the US has reached record highs, Germany has abandoned tuition fees altogether for German and international students alike.…

More than 4,600 US students are fully enrolled at Germany universities, an increase of 20% over three years."

Germany can do it but we can’t? Yep, that sounds defeatist to me.

And about the health care thing. Just because Hillary can’t do it doesn’t mean…well, Here's a Map of the Countries That Provide Universal Health Care (America's Still Not on It)

When did we become such wimps?

Jeb floods punctuation market with good-as-new !s

The Low-Enegy Bush (LEB!—there, used one of them) has relinquished his podium over on the edge of the stage in deference to an expanding Donald, of whom the NYTimes says this morning "even some Republicans find unlikable and lacking in compassion," a breathtaking assertion if there ever was one.

Meanwhile, over thataway, Slick Hilly has cooled the Bern somewhat—or a lot, depending on your point of view. A six percentage-point difference of opinion is considered pretty big in American politics. Or, in other words, 45% of the people are always against everything.

Including me.