Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mad rush to year end

Illinois is playing North Carolina in a rematch from last season's NCAA Championship game.
[Ed. note: It's the 2nd half and Illinois is up, 40-37, 18:00.]

Chicago weather dipped to 11 degrees wind chill (yes it does count) then rebounded back to 60. Now it's back to 20-30 degrees. It's going to be a cold winter. That damn groundhog is never going to come out on February 2 at this rate.

Could talk about a white hetero woman going into South Shore's gay bar. And it is definitely gay. Gloria Gaynor will live forever. The Coronas are a little on the high-priced side.

Could talk about why a white hetero woman would go into South Shore's gay bar. That would necessitate explaining the Little Black Book. Harken back to December 2003, when this editor and her brother were discussing New Year's resolutions. This conversation was taking place in the car and in mid-conversation the brother pointed a tavern and said it wasn't a bad place.

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 46-38, 15:32.]

This editor glanced over and said it was alright. Or was it? Couldn't recall if I had been there or meant to drop in sometime. Which led this editor and brother to bring up the long lamented case of not always being able to tell if we had been to the bar in question, or merely meant to go.

And the Little Black Book was born. For 2004, every bar patronized by the brother or the editor got one unique entry.

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 49-41, 13:26.]

Halfway into the year this editor reluctantly realized that the brother was a great field reporter but not so hot at filing reports. A reverse Jayson Blair. So this editor gamely trod on, solo. And only filled half the Little Black Book.

Only one thing to do. Demarcate the book showing where 2005 began, and start the safari again. Wipe the slate clean. Bars that made the Book in 2004 could make the book again in 2005.

Then, in Detroit International Airport the day after Thanksgiving, on the way home from Austin (TX), the Little Black Book was pulled out. Seemed there were more blank pages than this editor expected. A quick count revealed 34 blank pages. And some more simple math turned up 36 days left in the year.

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 51-44, 15:39.]

Maybe a dipsomaniac could make that marathon run. This editor is a piker at best. Now I have to put on the half-court press the rest of the way to fill the Book. With this grueling time-compressed schedule, this also means no old favorites can be visited until next year. No time!

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 58-48, 8:15.]
Big Ten/ACC Challenge

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 64-55, 4:42.]
Dee Brown is back, and better than ever.

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 64-62 ,3 19:.]
Illinois (5-0), North Carolina (3-0). Illinois ranked 12th, N. Carolina unranked.
A NC 12-0 run. Not happy.

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 64-62, 2:05.]
Illinois calls timeout. Illinos has possession arrow. Illinois is great.
Dick Vitale just can't stop rooting for NC. Dick Vitale sucks.

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 64-62, 1:26.]

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 66-62, 1:03.]
ACC 3, Big Ten 1 so far in this tournament.

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 66-64, 0:40.5.]
Nuts. Timeout North Carolina. Dick Vitale likes Bruce Weber a lot. Dick Vitale is not completely sucky. Illinois ball.

[Ed. note: 2nd half, Illinois is up, 66-64, :26.6.]
NC fouls IL. This game is coming to you from Chapel Hill.

:17.4 NC fouls IL freshman Smith. He backrims it, IL rebounds, Dee Brown fouled.
:13.5 Dee Brown makes 1st, 67-64. Makes 2nd one, 68-64.

:04.0 IL fouled on NC's possession. Dee Brown back at the line and misses.

Illinois wins, 68-64. Take that, North Carolina!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Just try to get an answer from the FAA

Greg Szymanski, of Arctic Beacon, filed a report last week with updated information on the four 9/11 flights. What triggered the report is that United Airlines finally got around to delisting flights 175 and 93 (crashed into the South Tower and Pennsylvania, respectfully), in September 2005.

United's in bankruptcy, but come on - 4 years to get around to delisting those flights? American delisted their's, Flights 11 and 77, a few months after 9/11. And the cause given for delisting: destroyed. United's cause: cancelled.

That's one way to describe a plane crash.

Szymanski also points to Gerald Holmgren's research on the 9/11 flights, which can be found at :
Holmgren points out that there is some duplication of names on American Flight 11 and United Flight 175.

Roaming around the FAA web site ( which redirects you to the NTSB for aviation accidents) you find this terse summary of the 4 incidents on 9/11:
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Safety Board provided requested technical assistance to the FBI, and this material generated by the NTSB is under the control of the FBI. The Safety Board does not plan to issue a report or open a public docket.
So there.

More to follow.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Support the President, not the troops

One of Ohio's own demonstrates how tp support the troops. And brings the Hall of Shame spotlight back home.

Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH), who barely beat former Marine Paul Hackett in the Ohio District 2 special election - and there are investigations of "irregularities" in that election - made an ass out of herself Friday, 18 November 2005.

While the House was debating a GOP resolution to withdraw the troops from Iraq, Schmidt made the tactical error of opening her mouth. You can see the video here.

Straight from Rep. Schmidt:
He [Ohio state rep Dan Bubp] asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message - that cowards cut and run, Marines never do.
The House erupted into boos and catcalls. And let's hear it for Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN), who charged down the aisle yelling that her comments were a personal attack. The House told Schmidt to shut up (in House-speak she was directed to suspend) and had a 10-minute recess.

It gets better. Schmidt went on to apologize to lawmakers in THESE words:
I did not intend to suggest that they applied to any member, most especially the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania. I therefore ask for unanimous consent that my words be withdrawn.
Except for that part where she passed along a direct attack from a lowly state rep in Ohio on U.S. Rep. Murtha. By NAME.

Like everyone else in the House, ole Jean is running for election next year. Ohio 2nd District voters will probably be seeing that clip a lot.

And an update on Paul Hackett - he's running for Senate against incumbent Sen. Mike DeWine.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

When the numbers get ugly, stop publishing the numbers

Today's reading is from the Book of the I Federal Reserve 19:11-12. Let us prey.
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the dais before the CHAIRMAN. And, behold, the CHAIRMAN passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the markets, and broke in pieces the rocks before the CHAIRMAN; but the CHAIRMAN was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the CHAIRMAN was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the CHAIRMAN was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
And it was so, when the markets heard it, that they wrapped their faces in their jackets, and went out on the trading floor. And the voice said unto them, "What doest thou here, suckers?"*
Very quietly, under the radar, the Federal Reserve slipped a 4-sentence press release into the ether on Thursday, 10 November 2005.

Here's who picked it up:
Scoop, of New Zealand
A newsletter, Free Market News.
And another newsletter, The Daily Reckoning.
And that's the the whole lot. Perhaps the WSJ had already started celebrating Veterans Day.

The Fed baldly states that as of 23 March 2006 they will cease publishing the M3. They are also going to stop publishing: large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements (aka repos), and Eurodollars.

Maybe now that M3 has crossed over the $10 trillion mark, it's getting a little harder to argue that inflation is still under control. Today (11/16/05) the government released inflation numbers. Reuters somehow manages to sound upbeat: Prices up but core inflation tepid. But Reuters reports that prices were up 0.2% while Wall Street had forecast 0.0% increase.
[Ed. note: Wall Street's forecasts aren't worth the spit on Wall Street.]
By the way, and Reuters notes this too, that 0.2% gain exists even after food and energy are excluded.

Back to numbers. The actual report, found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has some other gems in it. For instance, the October '05 index 199.2 was 4.7% higher than October '04. You can draw your own conclusions.

[Ed. note: The KJV has a slightly different version, found in I Kings 19:11-12.]

Monday, November 14, 2005

Let's get up there!

WISC-TV in Atlanta reports Delta Air Lines said Monday that a strike by the pilots would be "murder-suicide." And there's a lovely photo of a Delta airliner accompanying the article. And it isn't crashing.

NBC Cincinnati adds that Delta is cutting flights out of the Cincinnati Airport by 26 percent. There is no accompanying picture.

The Salt Lake City Tribune can't even bring themselves to comment on today's events. Their latest article was filed 10 November 2005, titled
Delta Continues Its Losses.

We now turn to one of the Arctic's embedded field reporter's on the Delta situation and why their management is making it sound like a couple's therapy session gone horribly wrong.
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 5:19 PM
Subject: RE: Murder-suicide!

The important thing here is that this Showdown at the OK Corral has been brewin’ for a while now. It started in 96, when the Delta pilots accepted what they called “B” scale to fly Delta Express (the pre-cursor to Song) flights. Of course, they conveniently forgot that more than 300 pilots were recalled from furlough to make Delta Express happen. And those pilots quickly moved up the ladder to higher paying jobs within 2 years.
So then between ’96 and 1999, United fucked up and tried to buy US Air without telling the pilot sitting on the Board of Directors. (So much for “employee-owned,” right?) In retribution, United pilots glared really hard at the management team, which quickly crumbled and offered a COMPLETELY insane 30% increase as an apology for trying to go around the pilots’ backs. (Remember the horrible summer of 98 or 99 – when United couldn’t keep to the schedule AT ALL? – all based on the pilots being pissy.)
Because the pilots are organized, they have pattern bargaining down to a science. There is ALWAYS an airline pilot group bargaining – and the stated goal of each group is make a little more than the group before them. Great strategy – and highly beneficial but those annoying little things like recessions and downturns force the airlines into massive layoffs about once a decade. Which is fine with the union, because it keeps the membership angry. And an angry membership needs a leader – reminds me a little of Germany in the ‘30s.
So anyway – after United totally screwed up, it was the Delta pilots turn to negotiate their contract – Contract 2000, they called it. They had a couple of nice little rallying cries: “United Plus 1%” and “My Union Speaks For Me” come to mind. So because United screwed the pooch on the % increase they gave the pilots that held their operation hostage over the summer, the Delta pilots figured, “I do the same job as the United guys – I should make more.” Logical.
Contract 2000 comes around and the Delta pilots are so OFFENDED at the MEASLY wage increase they actually conducted a wildcat strike over Thanksgiving 2000. It was finally settled – for exactly what the pilots wanted (United Plus 1%) in the summer of 2001. Just in time for 9/11.
And since 9/11 the pilot group has taken exactly ZERO self-generated actions to pull the company out of the tailspin its in. The hostility has only grown between the pilots and management – and there’s certainly a valid base for the malcontent. When senior leadership took bonuses in 2002/2003, the coffin was nailed shut not just on Leo Mullin’s career there, but also on any chance of a peaceful resolution. The union got more virulent, the company got more content to blame it all on the pilots, and the rest of the employee groups got more and more scared that their jobs were either going away or not worth keeping.
So here we are today, with the pilots threatening Murder-Suicide. What is it about Atlanta-based airlines that make them all want to implode? Nothing was ever learned by the abortion that was Eastern Air Lines in the end. It is a tale of arrogance, pride and unjustified belief that your side is right, and all others are wrong.

Let's hear it for our embedded reporter, out there somewhere in the wilds of Starbucks, and keep those reports coming.

In market news, it was a bad day for the Dow Jones Transportation Average - 14 finished down, 6 up. Outside the index, United Airlines (UALAQ) finished up, at $0.69.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Fact-O-Rama translates to Crap-O-Rama

Cybercast News Service is not your typical news gathering operation. Hold on, they ARE your typical news operation. They feign neutrality in gathering and reporting news. But get a load of this "report:"
Fox News CEO Warms to Climate Change After Heat From Left
Here's my favorite line from the article: "A Fox News Channel documentary on 'global warming,' set to air Sunday night, provides only the liberal take on the controversial issue."
The article quotes Clay Rawson, a FNC producer of the special: "the project was a little bit different for us."
Or maybe not. Just because you call it liberal doesn't make it so. Just like you call your network fair and balanced doesn't make it so, either.

CNS follows this article up with another:
Greens Praise Fox News 'Global Warming' Documentary

This is how Bush partisans bury anything they don't like - by telling you that your enemies are for it.

In other news, RedState and the Washington Post misread yet another poll:
Only half see press as fair to Bush
The simple minds at Moonie Times think this means that the American public feels the press is being UNFAIR to Bush. But the correct reading is that the American public feels the White House and (Republican-controlled) Congress are not getting as many free passes.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

And first out of the gate is . . . TOLL BROTHERS

Homebuilder stocks are being watched, and the first one to stumble is Toll Brothers. They filed an 8-K on 8 November 2005, regarding their press release with preliminary information of projected revenues for 2006. To sum up: not good.

On 11/07/05 Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) closed at 39.41 on 2,812,800 shares traded.
On 11/08/05, after the announcement, closed at 33.91 on 16,612,300 shares traded.
Down 14%. And don't forget that trading volume!

But they didn't go down alone - they took their buddies with them:
WIlliam Lyons Homes (NYSE: WLS), down 10.7%.
Stanford Pacific Corp (NYSE: SPF), down 8.06%.
KB Homes Inc (NYSE: KBH), down 5.56%.

It's getting close to the end of the year, and the boys will have to start going on the record with projections for next year. It'll be fun. And don't forget all the mortgage lenders out there - are your ears burning, Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) and Countrywide (NYSE: CFC)?

As for Toll Brothers, their press release started off with the fluff of how they've had 13 consecutive years of record profits. That should contrast nicely when the bottom falls out in 2006.

Robert Toll, CEO and chairman, did go on to say "we observed buyers taking longer to make their purchasing decison."

That would be one way to put it.

In other news, AP is reporting that former CEO of Refco, Phillip Bennett, has been indicted of conspiring to commit securities fraud.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Maris can relate*

Just a thought, but if the Supreme Court is waiting on a replacement for O'Connor, do the rulings they make in the meantime get marked with an asterisk? We all know that when athletes announce their retirement, in their heads they've already retired. Supreme Court Justices aren't any different.

For those keeping score at home, here's what the Eight Men Out have done so far:

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Workers at meat-processing plants must be paid for the time they spend walking between their work stations and the locker rooms where they don and doff protective gear, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.[Bloomberg]

Citing jurisdiction over Dr. Phil, the Supreme Court got involved in domestic disputes. Namely, what happens when one spouse refuses consent to search and the other spouse gives consent.
A majority of the justices appeared concerned that the spouse giving the permission would override the wishes of the other spouse and they questioned why the police could not get a warrant instead. [Reuters]
But not Clarence Thomas! Regretfully, Reuters did not expound on "appeared to support the search." Well, whoopee for you, Reuters. I can do that kind of slackjawed reporting too.

In a separate story, it took the Southern Baptists to figure out that if Alito gets confirmed to the Court, then for the FIRST TIME EVER the majority of justices will be Catholic. From the Baptist Standard:
Alito would join Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as Catholics on the high court. . .Two current justices are Jewish—Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a fact also surprising to many. Justices David Souter and John Paul Stevens are Protestants.
Here comes the Vatican.

Flag on the play

The Republicans, who under Clinton were going to save us from jack-booted thugs, ARE the jack-booted thugs.

Pogo had a better way with words.

Before getting to the story, let's run through the headlines. Don't worry - at the time of this writing there are only 8.

From The Hill:
FBI called in on Hill

From WOI-TV Ames/West Des Moines:
Aide to Senator Grassley attacked at her Virginia home
[Ed. note: Who knew Des Moines was big enough to have a West Des Moines?]

From RadioIowa:
Senator Grassley asks FBI to investigate attack on his aide

From Des Moines Register:
Top Grassley aide attacked; investigation under way

From WTOP-FM Washington:
Capitol Hill Staffer Attacked At Fairfax Home

From Cedar Rapids Gazette:
Grassley aide attacked in D.C.

From KWOC-TV Quad Cities:
Aide to Senator Grassley attacked at her Virginia home
[Ed. note: Can you name the Quad Cities?*]

From WQAD-TV Quad Cities:
Aide to Senator Grassley attacked at her Virginia home
[Ed. note: The Quad Cities tv stations share their stories. ]

I can't understand what's holding up the heavy hitters on this story (I'm talking about YOU Washington Post, NY Times, Chicago Tribune).

And now, for the story. Emilia DiSanto is the chief investigator for Senator Grassley (R-IA), who happens to chair the Senate Finance Committee. And the Senate Finance Committee is investigating RNC bagman Jack Abramoff. Not up to date on it? Go here for a good recap.

Last Wednesday, 2 November 2005, DiSanto was unloading items from her car when a white man dressed in black struck her repeatedly with what is believed to be a baseball bat. She was treated for significant upper body injuries and a head wound that required nine (9) staples. She returned to work the next day.

Republicans will spin it that the injuries could not be that serious if she went to work the next day. Come on, folks! Why, guys take 3 days to get a hangnail removed.

The Hill also reports, no doubt in an unrelated story:
Ney sets up defense fund on Abramoff
Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) reported to the FEC that he hired Vinson & Elkins to defend him against potential trouble arising from the Jack Abramoff investigation. So far he's coughed up $136,000 to Vinson & Elkins. Since he didn't cash in as much as others (read TOM DeLAY here), and he faces a stiff reelection fight next year, he has to stop dipping into the reelection fund and set up a defense fund.

Sounds like Ney made a good guess now that he's received a subpoena from a federal grand jury on the Abramoff thing.

*Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline, Rock Island.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Checking the insurance policy right now

NewsNet5, covering Akron and Cleveland, reports:
Explosion Outside Ohio Wal-Mart May Have Been Caused By Meth Lab
Can't make this stuff up.

A nice confluence of items here. Ohio. Wal-Mart. Meth.

This happened in the state that went to Bush because of values. Apparently all those polls didn't drill down far enough to discern those values.

Wal-Mart, destroying rural and urban America with equal disregard. With this unprovoked attack by the drug dealers, Wal-Mart will target them and drive all the mom-and-pop corner drug dealer outfits out of business. Don't go crying to your methadone clinic when Wal-Mart chases all your dealers away because you wanted to be able to do all your shopping in one store.

Meth. America's last great export, and wouldn't you know it? It's too damn incendiary for transport. Of all the &(@$# luck.

In other news, Elliot Spitzer is running for Governor of New York. How the hell did I miss that?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bush, War President or Scaredy-Cat?

Reuters headlined the non-meeting at the Mar del Plata Summit of the Americas this way:
Bush avoids direct battle with Venezuela's Chavez
By Steve Holland, MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina: US President George W. Bush carefully avoided taking on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez directly at the 34-nation Summit of the Americas.
Now there's a war president for you!

According to TheStreet.com, the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) is dead in the water. Supposedly Mexico is in favor of FTAA, which is odd, since they are so unhappy with NAFTA. Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay are opposed to FTAA. So is Cuba, who sounds like they were not at the summit meeting.

Time and Matthew Cooper (does that name sound familiar?) softshoe the debacle at Mar del Plata. It helps when Cooper writes the revisionist history from Brasiliera, Brazil. The best the White House could do was have Stephen Hadley change the expectations of the summit from putting FTAA into effect by April '06 to "
We went from a summit which was supposed to bury FTAA to a summit ... in which all 34 countries actually talk in terms of enhanced trade and an FTAA."

Science Daily puts a different spin on it.
MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Leaders of South, Central and North American left the Summit of the Americas in Argentina Sunday with no trade agreement and none in sight.

The International Herald Tribune reports how Bush was able to escape without running into Chavez:
Bush abruptly exited an international summit meeting as talks over a U.S.-promoted trade deal hit an impasse.
The next day, an administration official said Bush would skip a two-hour Saturday lunch with the leaders because of "time served" at dinner the night before. But the president's planned escape was soon moot because the contentious summit talks ran so late, some three hours over schedule at that point, that Argentina simply canceled the lunch. So by 3:30 p.m., evidently on an empty stomach, Bush said he was sticking to his plans - his itinerary called for a 4:05 p.m. Air Force One departure from Argentina to Brazil - and he did.
He left an assistant secretary of state to sweat out the trade talks. In the words of IHT, "they ended hours later in failure." Matthew Cooper, would you like to go over your column again? Lousy administration hack.
The IHT also gets this dig in:
In short, the president of the United States is not in charge when he is one among many big-winded leaders and another nation's guest.
A quick survey of headlines around the world could explain why newspaper circulations (WSJ) are falling off precipitiously:
ABC News
Bush Loses Nothing, Gains Little At Summit
Taipei Times
Bush opposed both inside and out at summit
Bangkok Post
Americas summit ends in free-trade split

Did we slip to the Southern Hemisphere?

Tornado Kills 15, Injuries 200 in Indiana

Over the weekend of November 5-6, 2005 a tornado struck southernwestern Indiana.

A tornado in November. Hmm.

Indiana Homeland Security reported that 10 people are confirmed dead at the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park on the southeast side of Evansville.

So the strangeness of a tornado in November is counterbalanced by the tornado's inerring ability to hone in on trailer parks.

The Weather Channel reports a rain/snow forecast for Chicago today. Great.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Great Kimchi Crisis of 2005-06

Could this be the start of the next grand regional conflict?kimchi

There hasn't a rousing squabble in Pacific Rim in quite some time. And this is home to the Opium War, the Boxer Rebellion, the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 which led to the great Russian Revolution of 1905 (and that great baby buggy scene in "Potemkin"), and the Great Leap Forward.

And now - the Sino-South Korean Kimchi Crisis.

In October the Korea Food and Drug Administration found parasites in imported Chinese brands of kimchi. China replied that the department should be called SOUTH Korea Food and Drug Administration.

When So. Korea told China to bugger off, China responded by banning some South Korean food products. And they emphasized the "South" in South Korean. Miffed, Saigon replied "as if NORTH Korea has anything to export."

In the meantime, (S)KFDA announced on 3 November 2005 that it discovered parasites in 16 brands of kimchi from China. And these were different parasites than the ones found last month. The Parasites of October are normally found in human feces. The second round of testing found roundworm, which usually hang out in dog and cat neighborhoods.

And here we are obsessing over bird flu.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Guy Fawkes Day, not for the faint of heart

Feigning shock, the People's Daily Online reports today that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby pled not guilty in the CIA leak case. Then they indulged in some idle speculation of what the "I" stands for - Ignatius? Iago? Ichabod? Well, Ichabod would work, as he works in a headless Administration.

Mar del Plata, not just for summits anymore. Reuters reports that at least 70 federal police fell ill to lasagna.

President Bush immediately raised the terror alert to marinara and made menacing gestures to the fettucine alfredo.

I could let the cynicism/skepticism run rampant on this one, but I'll restrain myself.

Please celebrate Guy Fawkes Day sensibly.
According to a web site that I cannot vouchsafe, Blair for sure - and maybe Bush! - are planning false flag ops on Saturday, 5 November 2005. This is distressing. Guy Fawkes Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year. You may know it better as The Popish Plot. In the best Catholic tradition, Guy Fawkes was found hiding in the cellar of Parliament with a bunch of barrels of gunpowder. But the guy who had the matches stopped at a pub and one thing led to another, and he forgot about Guy. So Guy is huddling in the cellar, getting bent out of shape, finally hears a noise and jumps out yelling "It's about time, you lousy rotten &$(@#." Needless to say, the MP who snuck down there for a swig without sharing with those cheapskate MPs from Wales, was taken aback.
Anyway, no matches, damp cellar - Guy never stood a chance.

Kind of ironic, really. After Spain and Portugal pulled off all those auto-da-fes and then in London - nothing. Not even sparklers.

What they're not telling us about the bird flu. You'll lose your feathers. Naked chickens. All over the place. Worse, naked Canadian geese. I harbor no ill will towards Canadian geese, but they are flying sacks of poop (this is a family blog). Picture that naked. And not just birds.
But President Bush has a plan. We're going to give Rumsfeld's company, Gilead Pharmaceuticals, a gabillion dollars. Then they're going to help us fight the Killer Flu with vaccines made from last year's flu. Ha ha! That's like facing a pitcher with nothing more than his stats from last season. Wait, that's a bad analogy. Give me a moment.

And finally, Hawaii took upon themselves to conclusively prove that you should NOT pour concrete into sewer pipes. The Hawaii Channel informs us that if you do indeed pour concrete into sewer pipes, raw sewage gets detoured. In this case, into people's homes and parking lots. Alertly, signs were posted stating "Warning, this is toxic and dangerous."
A big thanks to Hawaii for setting that straight.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Colorado broke loose, but Pennsylvania is as dumb as ever

Breaking news! Rockettes are going on strike!

And now, back to your mundane little world. What's that? You want some details on that Rockettes thing? According to NY1 News, the Rockettes walked out in sympathy of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, also known as Radio City Hall's 35-piece orchestra.

And now, back to wacky Colorado. Grover Norquist is deeply, deeply dismayed by you wayward sheep in Colorado. From his web site, Americans For Tax Reform(Hah!):
"Young Republican children years from now will be scared in campground campfires by stories about Bill Owens - the tax-cutting Republican who magically turned into a tax-increase bad guy...and they will not be able to sleep all night."
--Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform

What kind of summer camp did Grover go to, anyway?
If young Republican children are going to be scared that easily, then what's the point in having them in the first place?
Maybe they'd be able to sleep at night if there was healthcare in America. Now they have to get ludes on the streetcorner, after the Chicago blue light camera goes out.

[Ed. note: That's not a riff on KMart's blue light specials. Chicago really has blue light cameras, the police like to call them surveillence pods - as if that's supposed to make us feel better.]

But I digress. The Associated Press tees up and takes a big honking whack at Pennsylvania. Their headline is So-Called Taxpayers Bill of Rights is Proven Failure. Too subtle? Here's the subtitle:
Only State To Enact TABOR Just Voted To Suspend It.
Tom Wolfe, spokesman for the Coalition for Common Sense Priorities, is quoted "The only state that actually has to live under TABOR just voted to suspend it. Why would Pennsylvania want to adopt policies that have failed in Colorado?"

I could toss off a guess here, but let's wrap this thing up with some statistics. From the AP article:
-- Dropped from 35th to 49th in the nation in K-12 spending as a
percentage of personal income
-- Dropped from 30th in 50th in the nation in average teacher salary
compared to average pay in other occupations
-- Raised in-state tuition by 21 percent at its colleges and universities
over the last four years
-- Plummeted from 24th to 43rd in the nation in the share of children
receiving their full vaccinations, and
-- Dropped to last among the 50 states in the share of low-income
children covered by health insurance.

Take that, Happy Valley, and your stupid Nittany Lions!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Holy smoke - Dems sighted on Capitol Hill!

Breaking News

Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and Vice President Cheney tripped over each other to raise the terror alert to RED. Seems there was a sighting of Democrats in the Senate Chamber.

CNN reported earlier today that Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) were apoplectic over Senator Harry Reid's (D-NV) surprise move invoking Rule 21. See the video here.

Associated Press reports:
"The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership. They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas."
That would be your Senator Leader, Bill Frist. And if anyone knows about lack of principles, he'd be the guy.

More from the same Associated Press article:
"They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why," Democratic leader Harry Reid said.

Early Las Vegas betting lines have the President choking on pretzel at 6-5.