Saturday, July 10, 2010

State's Rights

How do you feel about the 10th Amendment? Do you think "the authority of the states should trump Washington in most matters not explicitly assigned by the Constitution to the federal government." If so, then you must be cheering the actions of Judge Joseph L. Tauro of the United States District Court in Boston. He decided that a Massachusetts state same-sex marriage law does indeed trump the federal definition of marriage. I think that definition is found in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Basis of Ruling on Gay Unions Stirs Debate

I wonder if some state's rightists are actually quite upset by the decision? I doubt, as they pursued their restoration of the Confederacy, they ever conceived that gays might have some state's rights too. I wonder how long they can hold their breath?

Mark Twain

This Fall we'll probably see a bestseller written by a guy who's been dead for 100 years. The first volume of Mark Twain's uncensored autobiography will be in bookstores this November.

Dead for a Century, Twain Says What He Meant

Coffee Party?

Every once in a while I read something that I hope works, but I know is pure horseshit.

In an effort to replicate the tea party's success, 170 liberal and civil rights groups are forming a coalition that they hope will match the movement's political energy and influence. They promise to "counter the tea party narrative" and help the progressive movement find its voice again after 18 months of floundering.

Lots of hope and promise provides a nice chocolate coating, but the chewy center, well it remains unchanged. I think I'll turn the page.

Deja Vu, Again

When I read this peace on our attempts to arm Afghans so they can defend themselves against aggressors, my mind drifted. I recalled scenes from the movie "Charlie Wilson's War."

Gen. Petraeus runs into resistance from Karzai over village defense forces

We've done it again, only this time we're even dumber. We've been in the end game for years. We've fucked it up again. We have only one course of action left. End the war now, come home. Oh, screw the parade.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Bush Legacy

The Shrub left us doozy of a legacy. The Shrub did give us wars, torture, and intense politicization of government, but hey, what did we expect anyway? No, his legacy centers on his comprehensive inabllity to manage or do much of anything. Remember the pretzel? The Shrub put the bar on the ground, hell, he buried it. After him, anyone is qualified to be president. After him, anyone can step over the bar. That's sad. But, hey it gives the Newtster a very good shot. And don't forget Sarah.

Gingrich joins GOP parade today in S.C.

Oil has no enemies

If you pump oil out of the ground you have to do something with it. Usually you sell it. However, if you live in Kurdish Iraq, it can be hard to sell your stuff. If you go West, it's all Turks who don't like Kurds. If you try to go South, Sunnis and Shiite Iraqis will take your product. Okay, go East and sell it to Iran instead. Of course there's supposed to be some sanctions and there's supposed to be an Iraqi government. It's nice that what is, is just supposed to be.

Smugglers in Iraq Blunt Sanctions Against Tehran

On the non-war, war front...

A suicide bomber attacked a group of tribal elders gathered near the headquarters of the civilian government in Mohmand on Friday, killing more than 50 people and wounding about 100, a senior Pakistani security official said.

And on Day 81...

It's Drill, Drill Drill, pray for no Spill time--

A federal appeals court on Thursday turned down the Obama administration’s effort to enforce a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

What the hell, it's exactly what we voted for, well, it's what the majority wanted. Ah, technically it's a minority since only one-half of us bother to vote, so it's a minority majority. We elect 'em, they make deals for us, regulation withers, and we get what we elected. So, let us drill, drill, drill it's the people's will.

Fold Your Tent?

The defense of pedophile priests is as bad their deeds, hell it may be worse. Now, get this, if a priest gets his rocks off with a mentally impaired member of his flock, the Church now will consider this to be as wrong as messing with kids. The church gets creepier everyday. Do we need another Martin Luther? Yeah, because a year from now, it will be the same old, same old, as it has been for centuries. Check out the headline--

AP Exclusive: Priests who abuse impaired targeted

Last month it must have been okay?

Legacyland

When you allow a Shrub to build a nation, what should you expect? Oh, how about Iraq--

Eight people killed as violence against Shiite pilgrims continues in Iraq

Who supports Obama?

Independents seem to be wandering away from the Obama camp. Why? Dems and GOOPS will filter reasons through their positions to explain the ever fickle independent voter. So why? Well, the economy sucks, unemployment is high, and the wars are still being waged. Oh, throw in, that in a number of important respects, Bush is still president and you might be on the right track to explaining the flagging independent support.

Why do they flee? Well, ObamaCo sort of shooed them away. Hell, ObamaCo shooed away progressives too. In the name of assuring his reelection in 2012, he may have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Democrats battle independents' weakening support of Obama and Congress

Rules of Fighting

When McCrystal took charge of the war, according to the Afghanis, we were wasting too many Afghan civilians. Wasting is military speak for killing civilians. Needless to say the Afghans were a bit upset. The world does watch wars waged by the U.S. There was an excess of lousy PR due to the killings and the inept way the military reported on their actions. To solve the problem, McCrystal changed the rules of engagement. Soldiers had to get permission to blow the crap out of things they thought might otherwise kill them. It must be easier for the military to not kill civilians than it is to honestly account for their deeds. Soldiers have found the rules a very inconvenient way to fight a war.

McCrystal gave an interview to Rolling Stone. McCrystal and his staff dissed the Commander in Chief. The Commander in Chief canned McCrystal. Obama gave the war to the hero of Iraq, Petraeus. Petraeus appears to be changing the rules of fighting back to what they were before the PR brouhaha. Maybe he will recommend all head shots or heart shots, that way, the hearts and minds problem will be minimized. Expect more bad PR though, the military problem with admitting that they cause lots of collateral damage (another way of saying killed non-combatants) has not changed.

Petraeus reviews directive meant to limit Afghan civilian deaths

Hmm, maybe someone needs to ask, is this really a war at all?

The New Boss

Say what?

James Mattis: 'It's fun to shoot people'

Where would he be if there were no army?

$1=$10,000?

We all know there’s a difference between $1 and $10,000. Which would you prefer? Okay, if money is speech, then $10,000 makes a better speech, right? In other words, folks with lots of money make more effective speeches than the $1 crowd. Whom do you think your friendly neighborhood pol is going to listen to, Mr. One Dollar Bill or Mr. Ten Grand? It’s not fair, but it’s life. However, we can introduce some equity, after all we are electing a Congress and a President.

There are a couple of things we can do to help voters select the best candidate. We match private money given to candidate A with public money, but we give it to candidate B. If candidate A receives $50,000 from Big Givers, Inc. then we give a matching $50,000 to his opponent, B, but it is from the public till. Each candidate will make the same amount of speech. Public financing will provide needed speech equity. Along the way we will better inform and serve voters.

Oh, yeah, all that public money we give to opponents, we have to borrow it. The amount of private money donated will determine the amount public money that we borrow each election cycle. If private donors don’t like deficits, then they can temper their political orations. We’ve done it. We’ve made the little guy speak as long and loud as the fat cat. Yep, $1=$10,000.
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Frothing Trog Alert

Watch out for Trogs with foam. It means they read about this State's Rights decision. Yep, a judge says the Feds cannot trump Massachusetts State Law. Oh, the law involves the rights of married gays. Trogs know that state's rights pertains only to stuff they favor, so now all they can do is froth, froth, froth!

Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Oh, is that an angst ridden Lib over in the corner? Yeah, it dawned on him, if state's rights is okay in this instance, he may have to support some of the Troggish stuff in the near future. Now about married immigrant gays in Arizona...

All We Need is One Campaign Finance Rule

Is it the money or who gives the money that matters? Are donors just trying to be patriotic citizens or do they have an agenda? If it’s just patriotism, then they should not object to making donations anonymously.

If donors object to anonymity, then they must be more concerned with trying to buy influence, purchase tax breaks, getting earmarks, and receiving contracts. Hmm, which is it? Honest business types committed to the Constitution or just more Quid Pro Quo corruptness?

Well, why not try anonymity? If we did, would it affect all the free speech the Supremes have been hawking? How could we do it? It’s simple. We send all donations to Leadership Pacs, Parties, candidates, etc. to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The FEC deposits all money in one account. The FEC then sends the intended recipient the money without acknowledging the donor. Free speech is still free. Pols are not beholden to any particular organizations or donors. Money remains money, but the speakers all become patriotically Anonymous.

Apply this to all federal elections and all ways the pols have to raise cash. No one could directly give any money to any pol. Pols would have one campaign finance rule. They have to tell all donors to send contributions in their name to the FEC. That’s it. Free speech would not be limited in any way at all and money would still be available to buy cools ads on TV. One rule is all it takes.

Make all donated money follow this model for 10 years. What would it be like in 2020?

How's Your Scientific BS Detector?

Here's a game that will challenge your science BS skills. Can you tell which paper title is real and which is pure bullshit? Enjoy--

Is it Gibberish?

Racist DOJ?

Okay that might have caught your attention. Well, some guy has been making such charges. If anyone knows the name J. Christin Adams, then they've been listening to too much FOX News, Talk Radio, and other cable outlets. If folks agree with the schmuck, I hope they have a few more facts than what he alleges. Give this piece from Media Matters a read--

Manufactured scandal: Right wing's phony allegations against the Justice Department

California Dreaming?

If California legalizes pot, how much tax revenue will be generated? They have an estimate of $1.4 billion. A Rand study says it may be more or it may be less. At this point, any tax dollars ought to be welcome.

However, a $50 an ounce tax is a bit steep. Hell it's counter productive to a legal revenue stream. Maybe California should opt to become the world's supplier instead. Hell, tax it by the pound and they can watch the volume based taxes roll in. Could pot provide enough revenue so that CA end all other taxes?

Study: Legalizing pot may create new black market

What plan is it today?

BP continues to pollute the Gulf. However, they have plans. Yep, Plan X calls for attaching another ship and sucking more crude. Why, they say they will capture 88% of the daily 60,000 barrel spill. Hmm, what will have happen if they do capture more crude, but we see no change in the video feed from the wellhead? Golly they might have to increase the daily spill estimate to, say, 100,000 barrels a day. Oh, well, what's the other plan?

Ah, Plan Y calls for a brand new cap that sucks it all up to ships. The array will even have quick disconnects (in case of hurricanes). Of course, it will take 10 days of pouring all the oil all the time into the Gulf. That's at least 600,000 barrels into the water while BP "caps" their mess. Note, Plan X and Plan Y are both temporary. Plan Z, the last one, is the relief well. If if fails, well, would you like your irradiated shrimp steamed or fried?

Oil containment effort facing 2 key moments

Bets?

Once again the VA is making a bit of news.

Here's the talk--

The government is preparing to issue new rules that will make it substantially easier for veterans who have been found to have post-traumatic stress disorder to receive disability benefits, a change that could affect hundreds of thousands of veterans from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

So about the walk, place your bets now. I'm betting about a year from now we'll see a major WaPo story about how PTSD vets are getting caught up and hurt by new rules that were intended to help them. They will be worse off than before the VA decided to help them.

Talk and walk so rarely go together.

Uighurs in Norway?

Al-Qaeda plotters were trapped in the fjord. What I want to know is how the international media were just one step behind the spooks, or were they ahead of them. They were ready to publish something so the bad guys were busted. Should the spooks look into becoming journalists?

Norway Arrests 3 Men in Terrorist Plot

There never was a gate in climate

The consensus never changed, the science never changed, but some folks thought it did. And why? Well if some scientists show that they can behave as badly as say, a politician, a neighbor or yourself, then obviously they have lied to advance their interests. Funny, the course traveled by climategate says more about the lack of scientific understanding in general than much else.

British Panel Clears Scientists

What, science is supposed to be conducted openly, in public, with free access to data, methods and conclusions? Gee, what would our politics be like if there was a comparable Political Method? Might we already have fixed global warming?

This Modern Connected Life

If you Tweet, you better make sure your tweet does not make you look like a twit. If it does, you might have to say adios to your job. Is it right? Is is wrong? Is it just stupid? Are the acts, Twittering, being judged by a printing press standard? What happens when and if how we judge catches up with how we express and evaluate ourselves and others? Would the reporter have lost her job then?

CNN fires editor for tweet expressing admiration for late Lebanese cleric

How''s Life in Legacyland, West?

Well, if you don't go on pilgrimages, you can remain amongst the living, for today. Bombs are a way of life in the re-built, liberty loving, democracy of Iraq. They had an election and they have a new government. Oh, wait, they have not been able to form a government yet due to bombs and sectarian violence.

12 killed in Baghdad on last day of Shiite holiday

Have you sent a card or letter to the Shrub thanking him for the legacy he left us and the Iraqi folks? Damn, we still have 90,000 troops over there?

How's LIfe in Legacyland, East?

We've been building a better rubble pile for a decade. Nation Builders R Us, right? Well, maybe we need to re-think the matter just a tad--

Survey of Afghans points to rampant corruption in government

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Say What?

You've heard the expression, "out of sight, out of mind," right. Okay, BP's mess is making us all a bit more attentive to oil in the Gulf. Well, how many wells are out there? Not the ones we are either drilling or have halted drilling--who can understand what moratorium means when spoken by a pol. Nah, how about all the old wells. How many and does anyone keep track of them? Well--

Gulf awash in 27,000 abandoned wells

Is this the terrestrial equivalent of space junk? Do the evil, international, Islamic jihadi terrorists have a map and some scuba gear? Maybe we better put a guard on every well. Has anyone told Obama and Congress?

Aloha Gay Unions

Aloha means greetings and farewell in Hawaiian. Yep, aloha Hawaiian gay civil unions legislation, the Gov. said farewell with a veto stamp.

Hawaii governor vetoes same-sex civil unions bill

Lose that lard

Weight loss is simple. If you shove fewer calories in your maw than you burn up in work, you will lose weight. You have to count calories and assess your activity level. Eat less, work more, that's it. If you will not count calories then you can blame your fat ass on no one but yourself.

Many Americans clueless of how many calories they do or should eat

While you're counting calories check out how much salt is in your diet too.

And in Slapstickistan

Why are we still in Rubbleistan? It makes less and less sense every day. I wonder if the Afghans will get medals? More death and destruction in Obama's bungled war--

NATO helicopter rockets accidentally kill five Afghan soldiers

Slime Time, Nah, It's Election Season

As we look to November, we see the GOP has conned the Dems. Dems now fear they will lose the majority. Dems are sweating. The GOP feels good, especially when they notice that Dems are now adopting GOP tactics. The Dems aren't as good at sleazy politics as the GOOPERs. Besides it turns off the Democratic base. Oh, well, will the Dems do themselves in? Probably.

Democrats digging harder than ever for dirt on Republicans

Let's face it, voters don't really give a shit about crooks in office. They do care about jobs and the economy when unemployment is 10% and we're still in the financial septic tank. Unless someone explains it to the voters then they will assume it's all the fault of the majority in Congress. And that spells Democratic minority power.

Religious Whackery

It's very important to believers, after all they've been conned into belief in an afterlife. If they don't obey then they will fry forever, or some bullshit like that. It motivates people.

Religion is a slick tool to use in one's quest for power. One can obtain behavioral results quite cheaply in monetary terms. Opponents just die, power is obtained, and everybody gives glory to the intercession of some fictitious entity. Of course god's chanpion gets to be god's rep in this life. Slick. After all who is going to challenge god?

And in Nigeria....

Kenya's constitutional vote on sharia courts pits Muslims against Christians

BP Really Sucks

Yesterday Texas received BP's crude largess. Texans welcomed the tarballs,if it's oil it's good. Texans are into crude. Today, BP has found new customers for its Gulf products.

Oil has been found in Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans. Will it find its way into the local cuisine? Will a coming hurricane breach the ill-repaired (on the cheap) levees that broke during Katrina. Has the Army Corps of Engineers really protected the city? How long before the Big Easy becomes the Big Oily?

Oil in Lake Pontchartrain stokes worries in New Orleans

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Whoever thought they weren't Trogs?

Oh come on, you have to have a poll? The morons weren't there bashing Bush at all. They may use TP rhetoric to get a nomination, but then it's 100% GOP crap thereafter. The TP is just like the Bush era war protesters, they didn't like Bush and today, the TPs don't like Obama. Independent thinkers, my ass, it's all party directed bullshit. Cable just covers the GOP version today.

Tea Party = Republican party?

Got Fat? Lots of Fat?

Well, the amount of extra lard seems to follow politics. Red states for the most part are cock full of fat compared to blue states. I bet that comes from listening to Rush Lardbaugh and Sean Hammboneity to excess. Check out the crowds of Dems (Jackasses) and GOOPERs (fat Elephants) the next time you can, which group has the bigger butts? Where's your state in the national lard-off?

Alabama closes in on Mississippi as most obese state

So, how's how much adipoise tissue do you have? Checked your Body Mass Index Are you okay, fat or oh, my god?

Got Squash?

Here's a nice way to deal with lots of summer squash--yellow or zucchini

3lb. Squash--cut in to 1" cubes, boil 'til tender, drain, and then puree.

Put pureed squash in a bowl, add and mix it all together
1/2c. or more bread crumbs
1/2c. minced onion
1/2 stick melted butter
2 Beaten eggs
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper

Place mix in a buttered casserole dish

Melt 1/2 stick butter, mix in 1/4c. or more bread crumbs.

Sprinkle buttered bread crumb mix on top of squash mixture.

Bake uncovered for about 1 hour at 375 degrees.

This dish is great hot, warm or cold. It freezes well too.

Teabag Alert: Satuday Mail

Teabaggers, do you want government on your back even on Saturdays? Or do you prefer to be tread upon by a Constitutional entity just on Monday through Friday? Hearings begin this month, please go and steep--

The commission begins hearings on the service changes on July 12. In addition to eliminating most Saturday deliveries, the post office has proposed cutting its work force through attrition and wants the option to raise prices above the rate of inflation for some classes of mail.

Will teabaggers fight to preserve the Constitution and the Postal Service or will they demand an end to government intrusion in their mail slots?

Sides Form Over Threat to Saturday Mail Service

Want to pack heat and go to heaven? Call Utah!

Utah is the nation's premier licenser of heat packing permits. Talk about Guns R' Us! Utah permits are cheap, easy to obtain, and done by mail! They are recognized by almost every state. I bet every permit comes with a genealogical assessment and an offer of free ancestral baptismal services.

Utah’s Gun Permit Popular With Nonresidents

Gay Rights

Good question, read his answer--

Could impending Prop 8 decision doom same-sex marriage?

State's Rights Fans take Note, the Card Game is On

The always evil, on your back, ever socialist (even under the GOP) federal government is playing cards with Arizona. The Feds do not like folks who usurp their turf. Arizona made an immigration law. The Feds claim immigration as theirs alone. The Feds hand always trumps the state's cards, right? Can Jokers be wild? Deal the hand.

So, off to court we go. Okay, what if Arizona has Jokers and it wins? Then what? How many laws will other states make to "improve" federal law? What kind of lunacy would Mississippi or Texas enact? Would Utah establish a real theocracy? Is it time to move to Canada?

Justice Dept. expected to sue Ariz. on immigration, citing 'preemption' grounds

Tarballs for all

Texas has now joined the other Gulf states. They have BP tarballs on their beaches. BP is still spilling crude into the Gulf. BP cannot keep apace, it remains a monstrous mess. Oh, don't forget, the relief well is the last plan to shut down the well. It's plan Z. Well, maybe I better make that plan Y. Crazies do persist and bring up bombing the wellhead.

Tar balls in Texas mean oil hits all 5 Gulf states

And the winner is....

Ads win elections. Ads cost money. The candidate or party who buys the most ads buys victory. Wall Street bought lots of ads by donating lots of money to pols. The quid gave them some serious pro quo over the past decade or so. Wall street did share its success, they gave the rest of us the worst economy since 1929. Dems decided, to get reelected, they would actually have to re-regulate banks and financial institutions. Dems forgot about the ads. Wall Street prefers private profits and socialized risk. Wall Street is buying ads, that is, making donations, to the party of "No."

Democratic campaign committees losing big Wall Street donors

Aren't you glad public office is just so much soap advertising? Yep, and in this the new and improved box...

Michael Steele

Will he hang around for a while longer or get the boot? I hope he stays as head of the RNC. He's done more good for more pols than any other RNC chairman. Of course, none of the those pols have been Republicans. He does share one trait with every GOPer, he is totally batshit crazy. If he goes, who should become chair? How about Ms. You Betcha?

Will Michael Steele stay or go?

Oh my, Sarah? We better send an e-mail of support to the RNC, let's keep Mr. Steele on the job for a very long time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What's in your garden?

Are your tomatoes coming in? Okay, slice ‘em up and get ready to eat, but first–

Make some basil mayo. Finely mince up a mess of fresh basil and mix it into some mayo. A dollop on a slice of tomato is very tasty.

If you like, add a sprinkle of crumbled bacon or bits of goat cheese or both. Call it breadless bruschetta, and get creative. It's time for no cook meals!

Want a different dressing? Mix equal parts mayo and yogurt, then add a bit of horseradish to taste. Or try mayo, yogurt and some sour cream with a mess of chopped fresh dill stirred in.

Don’t forget yogurt and chopped cucumbers, will you add some mint?

An Earmark by any other name...

Congressional bribers denied themselves the ability to bribe and shakedown home town constituents with earmarks made to private companies. Damn, that must have hurt. Yeah, the pain was real for as long as it takes to form a non-profit organization. The non-profit picks up and directs that earmarked cash to the same old private for profit firms. The votes and kickbacks to campaign coffers remain unaffected.

Companies Find Ways to Bypass Ban on Earmarks

This is the free market and all that rot?

Principle Endures Until Principal Purchases People

In other words how long would you hold out for how much cash? How quickly and cheaply would you sell your narcissistic butt? I'm not sure. Hey, let's ask Rand Paul, he's got experience in this area.

Tea Partiers assail Rand Paul for taking D.C. money

Since ads determine victory in elections, the person with the most purchasing power wins and will be positioned to do a repeat in the next election. Ideas get a body on the ballot, after that who gives a shit about anything but winning. As with Dems and GOOPs, so go the teabags.

BP Still Sucks

BP is still blowing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf. If the TV coverage has diminished, it's not because the problem has gone away. Nah, TV panders to our short attention span and shifts to other matters as the ratings and revenue require.

How dead is the Gulf of Mexico?

Political Fringe Dwellers

Will Nov. be a national referendum on Obama? Or is it just a bunch of local races? Folks who run our two political parties want it one way or the other, depending on which approach will yield them a Congressional majority. After all, the majority gets the cool offices and more cable TV news interviews. What do the half of voters who will actually vote think?

Voters will not be looking at what either party pushes. Voters, will look at jobs and the economy. If both still suck on Labor Day, then a number of Dems will have to vacate their offices next January. Will power shift? Well, it will depend on the state of the recession and unemployment. It would be nice if 80-90% of us actually voted and we rejected 90%+ of all incumbents.

It seems most odd that in a nation that loves democracy a majority of the all possible voters never makes a decision. Half of us don't vote, but the other half does vote. In the voting half, one half plus one wins. That's makes 25% our idea of a majority. I wonder who benefits from minority rule?

Democrats resist GOP bid to nationalize election

Con Cons a Con?

Should every state have a Constitutional Convention every 15 or 20years? Would government improve or become more convoluted and encapsulated by special interests? Hm, Maryland asks its voters every generation. So do some other states. However, Maryland's Constitution is such a rat's nest that it requires lawyers to explain what it means. Maybe a Con-Con needs some specification about length and clarity.

Md. to vote in November on whether to hold constitutional convention

The idea of re-visiting who and what we are about seems like a good idea, what do you think? At the national level? I have my doubts, but it's interesting. I would try enlarging Congress--1 Rep for every 50,000 citizens and double the Senate. Then, I'd find some way to anonymize private money with matching public money in political races. Oh, yeah, I'd look for some way to institutionalize the practice of not reelecting anyone. Maybe a first step no would be to do away with party primaries, make them all open. Government is not that hard. We make it difficult when we allow incumbents to make their job's number one, two and three themselves, their party and perpetual reelection.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

All That Money (ATM)

Consumers, do you use an ATM? Well, here' something you might take note of:

New twist in ATM skimmer scams can empty your account

Have you really read your last statement?

Local Forces At Play

How much did we spend training local security types in Iraq? I bet we spent more than a bundle, hell it has to be at least a couple of grundles. As we head toward the exit door, we can rest assured, we've given Iraqis lots of liberty chips and the peace of mind that comes from self-policing. They have been trained to protect and serve themselves from people who go boom.

Female suicide bomber hits Iraqi governor's office

Hey, how's that Afghan local forces training program going?

Idiot Alert

It is the 4th of July. If you do decide to ignite small explosives and other ordinance, be careful.

NY man blows off arm with party fireworks

Place your bets

Do you have nay nuclear waste hanging around? Were your disposal hopes dashed when it looked like there be no Yucca Mountain? Guess what, the courts agree, we will have our Yucca!

The panel found that President Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a nuclear physicist, lacked the power to close the Yucca repository unilaterally; doing so, it ruled, would require another act of Congress.

Judges rule Obama can't close Yucca dump

Does anyone really think Congress will take Yucca back? Come on, everyone has some radioactive trash to get rid of, and what better place for it than Nevada? Myself I would have tried for a site in Mississippi, but Nevada is okay.

Caution the water is flammable

Areas on the Gulf coast won't shoot fireworks over the Gulf this year. If they did, falling embers might set the Gulf on fire. Damn BP, they've screwed up the 4th. It's just as well, swimmers, covered with oil slime, could be set off too.

More BP oil spill fallout: Seaside fireworks displays cut back

In the Shrubbery

Iraqis are learning a lesson in American democracy. Contractors will work as long as their a fair certainty that their cost overruns can extend contracts for several years. If vendors perceive a lack of government willingness to transfer more money their way, then they wrap up fast.

Work, sort of stops, is called adequate and complete. They move on to the next public trough they can find. Iraq has no money. The U.S. is exiting and sending it's extra cash to Afghansitan. The public works, well, they are public, but working? Come on. Kind of reminds me of mindless and useless brush clearing on a ranch in Texas.

This is hearts and minds?

U.S. Fails to Complete, or Cuts Back, Iraqi Projects

He's back on the camel

In case you missed it, big Dave was approved, certified fit for duty by Congress and sent packing to Kabul. He's taken charge. He's in it to safeguard the Afghans, sometime in the next decade or so. Hey it's a "tough fight" and we're at a "critical moment." At least we have a "clear objective," to win. After nine years of this bullshit, there won't be any change in policy or stratategery? What does win mean?

I'm beginning to think there are three constants in this world, death, taxes, and presidential legacies.

Petraeus Takes Command of Afghan Mission

Elected Officials Love Oily Green

As teabaggers and the generally batshit crazy amongst us pursue their irrational discussion of government, the rest of us need to take note of little things like this:

...an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process.

According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.

As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Billions From Subsidies

Big oil does save on taxes. They are not unthankful, they do share a smattering of their savings with our beloved elected and ever reelected officials.