Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wanker of the Day

Ruth Marcus.

Everybody Gets Rich

I think the NRA runs our foreign policy, too. Just arm everybody and everything will be ok!
WASHINGTON — To wage war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is using F-15 fighter jets bought from Boeing. Pilots from the United Arab Emirates are flying Lockheed Martin’s F-16 to bomb both Yemen and Syria. Soon, the Emirates are expected to complete a deal with General Atomics for a fleet of Predator drones to run spying missions in their neighborhood.

As the Middle East descends into proxy wars, sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks, countries in the region that have stockpiled American military hardware are now actually using it and wanting more. The result is a boom for American defense contractors looking for foreign business in an era of shrinking Pentagon budgets — but also the prospect of a dangerous new arms race in a region where the map of alliances has been sharply redrawn.

Pity the defense contractors.


Morning Thread

A Geyser of Money Worthy of Old Faithful, Digby. Amazing how much money these guys will spend to try and elect someone who will help them avoid a pittance in taxes. Tens of millions of dollars from just a handful of sources. No wonder my voice doesn't get heard, $25.00 is about the largest contribution I ever make.


Dance party!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

CSI: Just Making It Up

Shit is fucked up and bullshit.
The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Of Course!

This is the kind of thing that separated use zoning was meant so solve. Keep the stinky BBQ away from my humble abode. But separated use zoning came at a big price - automobile dependency - and who among us does not love the smell of BBQ?

Afternoon Thread


What's It All About Then

The "actually speaking the truth" version of a gaffe.
Yet collecting educational data is important for the future of education and can help define the the character of a town, said Nicole Brisbane, state director at Democrats for Education Reform.

"Schools are one of the biggest differentiators of value in the suburbs," she said. "How valuable will a house be in Scarsdale when it isn't clear that Scarsdale schools are doing any better than the rest of Westchester or even the state? Opting out of tests only robs parents of that crucial data.

And I thought it was all about the children? Nope. Real estate prices.

Saturday, Saturday

Weird late night out meant sleeping in for the first time in a long time (relatively speaking, not exactly an early riser by normal standards). Has a Republican said anything horrible today? What is Florida Man getting himself into?

Time for Brunch

From Echidne

The point of this bill, Brownback tells us, is to get people to go to work!  I haven't checked if Kansas funds daycare for single mothers on welfare so that they can go to work in one of the minimum wage jobs many of them would end up with.  But whatever.  At least they can't get tattoos and massages while taking cruises.



One of those weird nights in the urban hellhole. Kinda After Hoursish.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday night

Watching all the Eurovision videos as one does.

No More Mandatory 21-Year-Old Drinking Age

This "no federal coercion" arguments are going to just get loopier and loopier.

(I think a feds-imposed 21-year-old drinking age is stupid, but don't think there are any good legal arguments based on coercion.)

...adding, after checking, the Court in Sebelius did actually try to separate the decision from the drinking age case explicitly, but gibberishly.

Happy Hour

Friday edition.

Let Them Dumpster Dive

I know its standard blogger lingo to refer to Simpson-Bowles as the 'catfood commission' and to portray efforts to cut Social Security as a desire to put granny on a Meow Mix diet, but the truth is that catfood is expensive! It's really a plot to turn granny into a dumpster diver, to make her fight with the squirrels for discarded fried chicken from Popeye's (yes, the local squirrels do, in fact, sit on my back porch and eat fried chicken).

Few people have pensions or significant retirement accounts. Plenty of people, especially those with jobs that actually require physical labor, can't possibly be expected to be able to work until 69, or hold onto those jobs even if they are able.

I think that as a basic minimum, the majority of people in the very wealthy Greatest Country In The History Of The World should not have to worry about living lives of destitution and misery once they are unable to work. We are moving away from that goal.

Trying Not To Annoy You

I admit I don't like to think too much about the "business" side of this blog, but I have deliberately resisted throwing up the increasingly annoying ads that all the big sites have now. I doubt a single product has ever been sold due to an auto-on video/audio ad or a pop-up type thing that covers up the whole page and forces you to play a "where's Waldo" find the tiny X game to get rid of it, but those are the innovations in internet advertising that are all the rage. I have no idea if I'd bring in more ad money by incorporating such things, but I'm not even going to try (I think some bad things have gotten through google ads before, but they aren't supposed to.)

So consider a wee contribution, or just remember to click on the amazon ads before you shop at amazon. Happy to take Jeff Bezos's money!

Kudos To Christie

Not that I support raising the Social Security retirement age, of course, but at least he's finally put a number on it: 69. For years pundits and politicians have said that we needed to raise the retirement age, but most of them "accidentally" left out the fact that it is already being raised to 67. Few had the guts to actually say just what that raised age should be. Christie has, and in the future discussions will be more likely to be more specific about just what the current retirement age is. For people my age and younger (probably a bit older too, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now), it's 67.


That's pretty damn super.
Central Japan Railway Co. said its magnetic levitation bullet train hit 590 kilometers per hour (366 miles per hour) on Thursday and broke the previous speed record set 12 years ago by the company.

And if I ran the zoo, right after I made everybody move to studio apartments in urban hellholes, I'd build lots of supertrains. But the super part isn't that necessary. Get average speeds back up to what they were before most of our passenger rail system was dismantled and train travel becomes a pretty good option for distances under 400 miles or so.