Dec 19, 2007
Doggone, cheap-ass imported shredders overheated again.
Story here in case you missed it. The Eisenhower Executive Office Building by the White House was visited by the fire fairy this morning.
(My grandmother loved fires, she used to follow fire trucks so she could watch.)
"Raisin' CAFE standards, heheheheheh. ('cept fur mah truck and SUVs)"
"CAFE standards, now we'll have good places to eat like that Frenchie snarky Sarky, and we'll have an absinthe-only policy. heheheh."
"Gotta go work on a six-fold increase in my ethanol consumption, whar's the Wild Turkey?"
Dec 14, 2007
"(blah, blah, blah, health insurance company) ain't cheap. With a high deductible we still have to cough up $760 a month. (It's like having to make two car payments every month, but you don't get the cars.)"You should read the whole thing at The Smirking Chimp.
Dec 12, 2007
This story from Nature is just amazing.
Mammoth tusks show up meteorite showerMay I recommend that you take a reinforced umbrella if you venture outside on Thursday night. See related story here about the Geminids.
Fossils could provide a new gold mine for micrometeorite hunters.
Bullet-like pieces of what is thought to be an ancient meteorite shower have been found embedded in mammoth tusks and bison bone. The discovery of the 2–5 millimetre holes left by meteorites opens a window into a impact event thought to have happened over Alaska and Russia tens of thousands of years ago. And it could provide a whole new way to chart impacts from space.
The fragments, found in seven mammoth tusks and the skull and horns of a Siberian bison, match the geochemical composition of iron meteorites. "We think that the micrometeorites came from an air-burst of a meteor 30,000 to 34,000 years ago," says Richard Firestone, co-author of the study and a chemist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. "We think a wave of meteoric material sprayed the region."
Dec 11, 2007
BreauxLott.com registered 6 weeks before Lott gave notice.
Last month, after Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) announced that he was retiring before the end of the year, it was widely speculated that Lott may be considering a lobbying partnership with former senator John Breaux. As ThinkProgress noted at the time, any pre-negotiating between Lott and Breaux would violate Senate ethics rules. The Hill reports today Lott’s son, Chet, “secured the rights to the domain name” breauxlott.com “six weeks before his father announced his retirement,” raising further questions about whether Lott broke Senate rules.
The image is from http://www.wrensnestonline.com and the story is from Think Progress.
"Br'er Fox, do whatever you want, but please don't throw me in the brier patch."
Trent Lott doesn't rise to the intellectual level of Br'er Rabbit, but he shares his "his amoral nature and lack of any positive restraint."*
Dec 7, 2007
Pope offers 'shortcut' through purgatoryWould Virgin Airlines be okay?
Mike Aivaz and Jason Rhyne
Published: Friday December 7, 2007
Pope Benedict XVI has decreed that Catholics can cut short their future purgatory stays by visiting a holy shrine in Lourdes, France, a site where believers say the Virgin Mary appeared to a shephardess in 1858. Catholic pilgrims who visit Lourdes from now through next year, which will mark the 150th anniversary of the miracle claim, will receive an "indulgence" from the Pope, which he says will speed the trip to heaven.
"The door for indulgences is not always open, though, and for years after the Vatican Council reforms of the 1960s, they were rarely offered -- until 2000, when Pope John Paul II started using them to attract pilgrims to World Youth Day," reports the New York Times' Mike Nizza. "The pilgrimage, which must be made in the next year, can be accomplished using Vatican charter flights that began over the summer."
For Catholics not in a position to jaunt off to France, prayer at other select sites during a ten-day span in February may also do the trick. According to the BBC, the Pope indicated that "believers who prayed at places of worship dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes from 2-11 February next year -- or who were unable to make the journey -- would also be able to receive indulgences."
The details of the President's Poop Preparations revealed. I may be spending too much time on this subject, but tough. It's more likely that the Chimperor's toilet is solid gold (brrrr) and serviced by Halliburton.
I am really curious about the actual devices used for the toilet. Do his minions set up a porta-potty in the presidential suite? This device should definitely be a fixture at the Bush Library.
disclaimer: I worked in Alaska in the bush (if you'll excuse the term), and evacuation and its related facilities are a serious concern in the winter. One of the places I worked had the very best view from an outhouse, ever.
Dec 5, 2007
(check the full(?) story here)
The inaugural flight of Emirates' new nonstop service between Dubai and Houston touched down here Monday, directly linking the two energy centers.I guess KBR and Halliburton got tired of having to make connections in enemy territory like NY.
At the same time, word circulated that another Middle Eastern carrier, Qatar Airways, may be flying into Houston.
Natural gas-rich Qatar's national airline will start flights to Houston by mid-2008, the airline's chief executive officer, Akbar al-Baker, was quoted as saying in a story in the Gulf Times.
1. IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY? Midnight Special -- Johnny Rivers
2. WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY? Deep Elem Blues -- Grateful Dead
3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? I Wonder Where you are tonight -- Dolly Parton
4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? The Refugee -- U2
5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE? Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears -- Sean Keane
6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? Cover Me -- Bruce Springsteen
7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU? Am I Blue -- Willie Nelson
8. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS? I like my chicken frying size -- Merle Travis
9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? Roving Gypsy Boy -- The Rankin Family
10. WHAT IS 2+2? Track 24 -- Johnny Cash
11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND? Folsom Prison Blues -- Johnny Cash
12. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE? Wayfaring Stranger -- Johnny Cash
13. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? The Same Thing -- George Thorogood
14. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? Tramp Miner -- Rankin Family
15. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE? Love at the Five and Dime -- Nanci Griffith
16. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU? Somebody's Leaving - Little Feat
17. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING? With Body and Soul -- Bill Monroe
18. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? Life gets tedious, don't it -- Doc Watson
19. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST? Lungs -- Townes Van Zandt
20. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET? Secret Agent Man -- Johnny Rivers
21. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS? Till it shines -- Lyle Lovett and Keb Mo'
22. WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS? That's All -- Doc and Merle Watson
Dec 4, 2007
He nearly slipped a cog when some one asked him about the Saudi rape victim flogging. I thought I had lost my connection, but he finally bumbled through some sort of a non-answer.
I don't think he actually answered a single question, about par for the course, I guess.
He was most painfully stupid when talking about the new NIE.
"Let's see Iran has stopped its military nuke program, but they had one, so they might start up again."
Blather, rinse, repeat.
Dec 3, 2007
The Japanese conducted a research to find out that young chimps have a better short-term memory than human adults.
That challenges the belief of many people, including many scientists, that "humans are superior to chimpanzees in all cognitive functions," said researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kyoto University.
"No one can imagine that chimpanzees young chimpanzees at the age of 5 have a better performance in a memory task than humans," he said in a statement.
Nov 29, 2007
Leahy: “I have given the White House’s claims of executive privilege and immunity careful consideration,” wrote Leahy. “I hereby rule that those claims are not legally valid to excuse current and former White House employees from appearing, testifying and producing documents related to this investigation. Accordingly, I direct Mr. Bolten, Mr. Rove, Ms. Taylor and Mr. Jennings to comply immediately with the committee's subpoenas by producing documents and testifying or face possible contempt citations.”
Perino: WH Does 'Not Seek Permanent Bases in Iraq'
General Lute said on Monday we'll negotiate them. Ali al-Dabbagh wouldn't rule them out. But at the White House press gaggle today, Dana Perino denied the Bush administration's interest in long-term U.S. military bases in Iraq. From AFP:
"We do not seek permanent bases in Iraq," spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters after Lieutenant General Douglas Lute said Monday that the flashpoint issue would be part of negotiations to decide the future of US troops in Iraq.
Nov 28, 2007
State Department official Iraq update is really compilation of plagiarized major media articles
11/28/2007 02:43:00 PM ET
Kind of pathetic when the official report from the US State Department on what's "really" happening in Iraq is actually just a bunch of plagiarized paragraphs from the major media in the US. To wit, the following analysis an anonymous friend just sent me. I just checked it out and he's right. State outright plagiarized much of the major media in making its "report." And what's really funny, they even stole a number of paragraphs from a New York Times article when, as I recall, the NYT is the newspaper that George Bush refuses to read because it supposedly has such a "liberal bias."
Nov 27, 2007
Seriously the door on that paddy wagon is a little disturbing.
Police officers arrest a student during riots in Amsterdam. Police clashed with high school students in several towns and cities in the Netherlands, on the second day students went on "strike" to protest government plans to increase the number of hours they must remain in school. At Amsterdam's Museum square, riot police used water cannons against some of the 1,000 demonstrators and charged them on horseback after students pelted them with apples, eggs and bottles. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
(November 26, 2007)
Nov 26, 2007
U.S. Navy steps up fuel deliveries to Gulf forces
Here's the story.
LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. military has stepped up chartering of tankers and requests for extra fuel in the U.S. Central Command area, which includes the Gulf, shipping and oil industry sources say.
A Gulf oil industry source said the charters suggested there would be high naval activity, possibly including a demonstration to Iran that the U.S. Navy will protect the Strait of Hormuz oil shipping route during tensions over Tehran's nuclear programme.
The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) has tendered for four tankers in November to move at least one million barrels of jet and ship fuel between Gulf ports, from Asia to the Gulf and to the Diego Garcia base, tenders seen by Reuters show. It usually tenders for one or two tankers a month to supply Gulf operations, which include missions in Iraq.
Remember, the big ships are nuclear powered, so they are good to go.
So what are they bringing in?
The fuel includes JP5, jet fuel, for the carrier-based aircraft. Does this presage increased aerial activity? Like maybe against Iran?
On a personal level, I would pay good money to see Carlos Ray Norris kick the stuffing out of any of the debate participants any time they stretched the truth.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appears to be milking cult hero Chuck Norris' endorsement for all it's worth.
The former Arkansas governor told reporters on a conference call Monday morning that the “Walker Texas Ranger” star will be joining him at the CNN/YouTube debate this Wednesday night.
"[He] will be part of that experience," Huckabee said. "So it will be fun and hopefully very substantive."
Norris officially endorsed Huckabee last October, hailing him as a "respected and fearless leader" and one who's "not afraid to stand up for a Creator and against secularist beliefs."
Nov 19, 2007
Nov 16, 2007
A statement from Senator Harry Reid:
The Senate will be coming in for pro-forma sessions during the Thanksgiving holiday to prevent recess appointments.
My hope is that this will prompt the President to see that it is our mutual interests for the nominations process to get back on track.
While an election year looms, significant progress can still be made on nominations.
I am committed to making that progress if the President will meet me half way.
But that progress can’t be made if the President seeks controversial recess appointments and fails to make Democratic appointments to important commissions.
As Democratic leader, I recommend nominees to the President for many important commissions like the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
These independent agencies are required by law to have Democratic representation.
As a result, the President has a statutory obligation to honor my recommendations and move on them in good faith.
And, up until recently, the President has generally discharged that obligation.
In the last several months, however, the administration has been stalling progress on Democratic appointments.
This problem existed before the August break.
In an effort to solve it, I worked hard to confirm over 40 administration nominees in exchange for a commitment by the President to make progress on a number of important commissions.
When we reconvened after August break, I also worked to quickly move on the President’s new Attorney General.
I did this despite my own opposition to that nominee.
Even with all this hard work on our side, the commitments the administration made to me before August break were not met.
In the almost three months since that break, we have received no Democratic nominees to full-time commission positions.
For some, in fact, absolutely no discernable progress has been made.
With Thanksgiving break looming, the administration informed me that they would make several recess appointments.
I indicated I would be willing to confirm various appointments if the administration would agree to move on Democratic appointments.
They would not make that commitment.
As a result, I am keeping the Senate in pro-forma to prevent recess appointments until we get this process back on track
Saudi Arabia is creating an independent 35,000 strong force specifically to guard oil infrastructure. Here's the link via The Oil Drum.
The kingdom started recruiting and training the industrial security force a year ago, after a failed al Qaeda attack on the world's largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq in February 2006.Look at the trouble in Nigeria (not to mention the stellar production records for Iraq for the last few years.)
...Al Qaeda's Saudi-born leader, Osama bin Laden, has called for it to take aim specifically at oil.
"There is a new threat to oil installations from terrorists that has to be confronted," Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki told Reuters.
Nov 15, 2007
Food expenditure for one week: 41,985.85 togrogs or $40.02
Family recipe: Mutton dumplings
Someone posted this link over at The Oil Drum.
What the world eats
Go take a look.
It's a picture essay of families around the world surrounded by a week's worth of food. Light but interesting reading. I would like a per capita cost and calorie/nutrition breakdown but still the pictures are worth several thousand words.
Overnight rainfall totals included .14 inch at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, .21 inch at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport and .28 inch at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Approximately enough water to wet 52% of your whistle.
Nov 14, 2007
During today’s House oversight committee hearing on State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard, “Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) dropped a bombshell: Krongard’s brother, former CIA Executive Director A.B. ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, sits on Blackwater’s board. Blackwater, of course, is a State Department contractor.” Under questioning by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Krongard denied that his brother worked for Blackwater and said he would recuse himself from Blackwater investigations if it’s true.Coverage at Think Progress and TPM Muckraker. Oh, Henry!
Sh*t, I though Governor Perdue was praying for a brain.
(DKos reminded me of this story.)
More than 250 faith-filled Georgians joined Gov. Sonny Perdue outside the Capitol this morning to pray for the rain needed to end the area's historic drought.I should become a rainmaker. I can do at least as well as Perdue.
Perdue asked them to "reverently and respectfully pray up a storm."
Gil Watson, senior minister of Northside United Methodist Church, prayed, "Lord, have mercy on your people, have mercy on us and grant us rain. Oh God, let rain fall on this land of Georgia."
Nov 13, 2007
Bush to be interviewed on Fox.
Yesterday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino held a news briefing aboard Air Force One where she went over President Bush’s media schedule. His two upcoming appearances? Fox News and Fox Business Channel.I am afraid I will have to pass. I can barely stomach reading about Chimpy
Nov 12, 2007
Disclaimer: I grew up in Atlanta and spent a lot of time at my aunt's house at Lake Lanier. So this stuff is especially interesting to me.
Florida backs away from water war truce(more here)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/09/07
One week after it appeared Georgia, Alabama and Florida had reached a temporary truce in their latest fight over water, Florida notified federal officials that it objected to a proposal to keep more water in Lake Lanier.
On Thursday night, Florida sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, opposing the short-term plan to reduce releases into Florida from Lanier.
The corps, which proposed the reductions, said stemming the flow downstream could help extend metro Atlanta's water supply by as much as two years. That could be long enough to get the region through the historic drought that started in spring 2006.
But Florida's objection to the proposed cuts could be moot.
The final decision still rests with Fish and Wildlife, which has until next Thursday to determine whether federally protected mussels and a fish species could survive with less water. If the service approves the changes, the corps could begin phasing in the reductions immediately.
Florida would then have the option of asking a federal judge to keep the waters flowing from Lake Lanier at their current levels.
For metro Atlantans, the stakes are high: If drought conditions don't improve, the state could be forced to take steps, such as rationing water, that haven't been seen even in the arid West, such as Southern California or Las Vegas.
Nov 9, 2007
Nov 7, 2007
Nov 6, 2007
Update: Bastards. I have learned that sending Kucinich's bill to the committee is tantamount to burying it in the seventh chamber of hell. Loyal reader and all-round smart person PiNY tells us that Conyers is beholden to Pelosi. (She phrases it differently, but that's what she means.)
They are NOT going to table Kucinich's resolution to impeach!
I'm listening to the play by play.
From Raw Story:
(Update at bottom: House poised to kill impeachment resolution, vote to table likely to pass)(And Dewey Defeats Truman)
This is getting interesting the rethugs changed their votes to allow the resolution to go ahead. What are they thinking? I think they are trying to do too much second guessing....
UPDATE: It's going to the judiciary committee! Go Conyers!
Update: See PiNY's comment. Conyers and the committee w0n't do a d*mned thing.
Nov 2, 2007
From Raw Story
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) announced he would move to force a vote next week on his resolution calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.Finally, ripples in the pond. Now if they will only grow into waves.
“The momentum is building for impeachment,” Kucinich said in a statement on his Web site. “Millions of citizens across the nation are demanding Congress rein in the Vice President’s abuse of power.
Kucinich said he plans to introduce a privileged resolution, which would have priority for a House floor vote, on Nov. 6. A vote on the measure would be required within two days.
Nov 1, 2007
I'm sure the folks over at the Heritage Foundation are still toweling themselves off.
Bush: ‘war on terror’ critics are ‘disingenuous or naive.’Today in his speech at the Heritage Foundation, President Bush attacked critics of the term “war on terror,” saying that “people who deny we are at war are either being disingenuous or naive.” He added, “We are at war — and we cannot win this war by wishing it away or pretending it does not exist.” ...
I would pay good money to see some one ask him, "What does disingenuous mean?"
Possible response: "Well it means, won't get fooled agin while our childrens is learning."
Oct 26, 2007
And now one minute of respect for McCain. He said:
Now if he will vote against Mukasey, and then remove himself from the race (presidential, that is. We can allow him to remain in the human race.)
“Anyone who knows what waterboarding is, could not be unsure. It is a horrible torture technique used by Pol Pot and being used on Buddhist monks as we speak,” said McCain after a campaign stop at Dordt College here.
“People who have worn the uniform and had the experience know that this is a terrible and odious practice and should never be condoned in the U.S. We are a better nation than that.”
Oct 25, 2007
Pootie Poot tells it like it is.
Madman with a razor blade. Very descriptive, but Chimpy is far from sharp.
"Why worsen the situation and bring it to a dead end by threatening sanctions or military action," Putin said in a veiled reference to the U.S. push for harsher international sanctions against Tehran.
"Running around like a madman with a razor blade, waving it around, is not the best way to resolve the situation," the Russian leader said.
Perino: ‘There Are Public Health Benefits To Climate Change’ For People Who Die From ‘Cold’
Q: And one more. You mentioned that there are health benefits to climate change. Could you describe some of those?Holy crap. She must have had a double Kool-Aid this morning, and a Kool-Aid omelette for good measure.
MS. PERINO: Sure. In some cases, there are — look, this is an issue where I’m sure lots of people would love to ridicule me when I say this, but it is true that many people die from cold-related deaths every winter. And there are studies that say that climate change in certain areas of the world would help those individuals. There are also concerns that it would increase tropical diseases and that’s — again, I’m not an expert in that, I’m going to let Julie Gerberding testify in regards to that, but there are many studies about this that you can look into.
He doesn't know if waterboarding is torture? In that case, I have a great idea for the next republican debate format....
Linda Gustitus, who is the president of a group called the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, began her question by saying that President Bush’s nominee for attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey (who happens to be an old friend of Mr. Giuliani’s) had “fudged” on the question of whether waterboarding is toture.
“I wanted to ask you two questions,’’ she said. “One, do you think waterboarding is torture? And two, do you think the president can order something like waterboarding even though it’s against U.S. and international law?’’
Mr. Giuliani responded: “Okay. First of all, I don’t believe the attorney general designate in any way was unclear on torture. I think Democrats said that; I don’t think he was.’’
Ms. Gustitus said: “He said he didn’t know if waterboarding is torture.”Mr. Giuliani said: “Well, I’m not sure it is either. I’m not sure it is either. It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. I think the way it’s been defined in the media, it shouldn’t be done. The way in which they have described it, particularly in the liberal media. So I would say, if that’s the description of it, then I can agree, that it shouldn’t be done. But I have to see what the real description of it is. Because I’ve learned something being in public life as long as I have. And I hate to shock anybody with this, but the newspapers don’t always describe it accurately.”
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has revealed that “Blackwater USA tried to take at least two Iraqi military aircraft out of Iraq two years ago and refused to give the planes back when Iraqi officials sought to reclaim them.” Waxman today wrote to Blackwater CEO Erik Prince and requested that he “provide all documents related to the attempted shipment and to explain where the aircraft are now.”
Oct 24, 2007
From Talking Points Memo
By Spencer Ackerman - October 24, 2007, 11:00AM
Aussie barmaid fined for crushing cans with bare breasts.
(or Should it read Aussie barmaid fine for crushing cans with bare breasts)
This is disturbing on a number of levels. Poor Freud may be spinning in his grave.
(BTW, this is safe for work; it is only an article.)
Oct 23, 2007
The United States signed a pact Tuesday with Mongolia, which is landlocked, to carry out high-seas interceptions of ships suspected to be ferrying weapons of mass destruction. The agreement was signed by Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, seen here in September 2007, and Mongolian Foreign Minister Nyamaa Enkhbold.(AFP/File/Tim Sloan)I'm sure the Swiss will be ticked off when they hear this news.
Oct 22, 2007
Blackwater accused of tax evasion. From the gang at Think Progress.
In a letter to Blackwater CEO Erik Prince today, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) says he has obtained documents “which suggest that Blackwater may have engaged in significant tax evasion” by labeling their armed guards “independent contractors.” Due to the label, “Blackwater may have avoided paying millions of dollars in Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and related taxes for which it is legally responsible,” writes Waxman. DynCorp and Triple Canopy, “the two other major private military contractors providing security services to the State Department in Iraq,” classify their guards as “employees.”I don't know the law, but I'm guessing there's a bunch of bricks being sh*t at Blackwater central.
I'm thinking Waxman should avoid small planes and dark alleys.
Oct 19, 2007
From the Huff Post
WASHINGTON — Mel Martinez, the public face of the Republican National Committee as its general chairman, announced Friday he was stepping down from his post after serving only 10 months.
"I believe that our future as a party and nation is bright and I have every intention of continuing to fight for our president, our party and our candidates," the Florida senator said in a statement.
His resignation came months earlier than anticipated. Martinez wasn't expected to step down until a Republican presidential nominee was selected, and the earliest that could occur is February.
The RNC said Martinez' job would not be filled.
Not be filled, hmmmm. Seems Mel (R-Dumbistan) is worried about keeping his seat.
And here I was, thinking he wanted to resign to spend more time with his collection of vintage schoolgirl manga.