Friday, September 4, 2009

College Students Get More Drunk When Drinks Are Cheap

or Laws of Economics Apply To Bars

In yet another study to prove the obvious, the august journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research comes to this conclusion.
"It may seem intuitive that cheaper alcohol can lead to higher intoxication levels and related consequences -- such as fighting, drunk driving, sexual victimization, injury, even death -- especially among the vulnerable college student population," said Ryan J. O'Mara, a graduate research fellow at the University of Florida and corresponding author for the study, in a news release from the university.
Why does it not surprise me that they did their field work at Florida's premiere four-year theme park?

(h/t to kurosawaguy)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ridge accuses Bush White House of political use of terror alert system

We Are At Liar Alert Level "Pants On Fire"

As reported in the Boston Globe, and many, many other places, Tom Ridge confesses that terror alert levels were manipulated based on political polling for tactical partisan advantage.
In his new book, the first Homeland Security chief, Tom Ridge, accuses top aides to President George W. Bush of pressing him to raise the terror alert level to influence the 2004 presidential election.
I am shocked, shocked, that the whole Roy G. Biv color scam was just a PR ploy. But at least we finally found those weapons of mass destruction.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

CIA Hired Firm for Assassin Program

Another Tale of Outsourcing Gone Bad

When the CIA found out that IT couldn't organize assassination teams, it decided the way around that loophole was to HIRE assassination teams.

A secret CIA program to kill top al-Qaeda leaders with assassination teams was outsourced in 2004 to Blackwater USA, the private security contractor whose operations in Iraq prompted intense scrutiny, according to two former intelligence officials familiar with the events.

The North Carolina-based company was given operational responsibility for targeting terrorist commanders and was awarded millions of dollars for training and weaponry, but the program was canceled before any missions were conducted, the two officials said.


"Outsourcing gave the agency more protection in case something went wrong," said a retired intelligence officer intimately familiar with the assassination program.
Because hiring mercenaries to do your dirty work is the American way.

(h/t to bob s)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Edwards to admit paternity of ex-mistress' child

On The Next Maury: Edwards Gets Reille

Sources say that John Edwards will fess up to fathering the child of his former mistress.
Sources have told WRAL News that they expect former U.S. Sen. John Edwards to admit that he is the father of his former mistress' 18-month-old daughter.

Edwards, a two-time Democratic presidential candidate, confessed last August to having an affair with Rielle Hunter, who served as a videographer on Edwards' 2008 campaign. He has denied fathering her daughter, saying his relationship with Hunter ended before the child was conceived.
His rather stalkerish former assistant had been taking that bullet for Team Ken Doll.

By confessing to having knocked up the former girlfriend of 80s literary star Jay McInerney, Edwards reduces the number of people fooled by his previous ridiculously transparent denials to exactly zero.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Psychologists repudiate gay-to-straight therapy

You Can't Pound Square Pegs Into Round Holes

The American Psychological Association has determined that gay-to-straight therapy advocated by many fundamentalists just doesn't work.
The American Psychological Association has declared that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients that they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.

Instead, the APA is urging therapists to consider multiple options — that could range from celibacy to switching churches — for helping clients whose sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.
Or you could just find a religion that doesn't say that God hates you for being the way he made you.

Embattled S.C. Governor Sanford, Wife Are Splitting Up

Charlie Crist Is Taking Notes

According to the Washington Post, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford is kicking his long-suffering and independently wealthy wife to the curb of the governor's mansion.
Since the Republican governor secretly traveled abroad in June and admitted upon his return that he had an Argentine mistress, the Sanfords have vacationed together in Florida and Europe, and both have repeatedly said they were working to repair their marriage.

But the first lady said Friday that she will move to the family's oceanfront cottage on Sullivan's Island, a lush beach enclave near Charleston nearly two hours by car from the state capitol, where her husband remains in office.
This should free up plenty of time in his busy schedule for Appalachian Trail hiking and Argentinian divorcée banging.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots

You Can't Squeeze Intelligence From A Turnip

The Washington Post reports that torturing Abu Zubaida got no real leads and wasted a lot of time and money chasing down red herrings.

The methods succeeded in breaking him, and the stories he told of al-Qaeda terrorism plots sent CIA officers around the globe chasing leads.

In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida's tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations.
But it was just so much danged fun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Debate Over Drugs For ADHD Reignites

Ritalin Added To Coffee and Cigarettes As Things That Stunt Your Growth

The Washington Post reports on a study that says that kids that take tons of mood altering drugs don't end up any more normal, just shorter.

New data from a large federal study have reignited a debate over the effectiveness of long-term drug treatment of children with hyperactivity or attention-deficit disorder, and have drawn accusations that some members of the research team have sought to play down evidence that medications do little good beyond 24 months.

The study also indicated that long-term use of the drugs can stunt children's growth.

So just give them a pack of Camels and a daily latte espresso to calm them down to get the same effect.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Latest CIA Scandal Puts Focus on How Agency Polices Self

James Bond Movies Were Never Like This

The Washington Post has a scoop on how far the CIA will go to curry favor with foreign sources:
As a novice CIA case officer in the Middle East, Andrew Warren quickly learned the value of sex in recruiting spies. Colleagues say that he made an early habit of taking informants to strip clubs, and that he later began arranging out-of-town visits to brothels for his best recruits.
He seems to have crossed a line when he started drugging women and then taping the encounters. They never put enough rules into the Secret Spy Employee Manual.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Red Cross Described 'Torture' at CIA Jails

How We Should Treat AIG Traders

The Washington Post catches the Red Cross using the T-word:
Many of the details of alleged mistreatment at CIA prisons had been reported previously, but the ICRC report is the most authoritative account and the first to use the word "torture" in a legal context.
And exactly what qualifies as torture?
During interrogations, the captives were routinely beaten, doused with cold water and slammed head-first into walls. Between sessions, they were stripped of clothing, bombarded with loud music, exposed to cold temperatures, and deprived of sleep and solid food for days on end. Some detainees described being forced to stand for days, with their arms shackled above them, wearing only diapers.
Some people pay good money to get treated that way.

Also in that article is this curious quote:
The CIA declined to comment. A U.S. official familiar with the report said, "It is important to bear in mind that the report lays out claims made by the terrorists themselves."
So, we can't trust anything they say because they're terrorists. If we can't believe what they tell us, then what the fuck were we torturing them for?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Washington Senate OK's hiking energy efficiency standards

I had no idea that hiking needed to be more efficient. Does that require better shoes, or spring loaded walking sticks? From the AP via
Washington has moved closer to raising the energy efficiency standards for buildings.
Ohhh! They are increasing building energy efficiencies.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

GM Auditors Wary About Auto Firm's Future

The Accountants Are Always The Last To Know

The Washington Post reports on the troubled car makers pre-mortem:
Auditors for General Motors today said there is "substantial doubt" that the struggling automaker will remain financially viable and able to continue operating, raising doubts about whether the company will have to declare bankruptcy or can continue to qualify for Treasury Department loans.
The auditors may be confused, but the customers seem to have already decided.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cop Makes Arrest In Bathroom After Smelling Crack

What Else Would You Expect To Smell?

Of course the actual CBS/AP article is referring to crack cocaine.
The Cecil County Sheriff's Office said a deputy about to take a bathroom break at a gas station smelled crack cocaine and made a quick arrest.
I knew Wawa's carried a lot of convenience items, but that is ridiculous.

(h/t to Gawker)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire' is top dog at the Oscars

The post title came from the San Jose Mercury News.

Other punny headlines include:
Kansas City Star: One-time underdog ‘Slumdog Millionaire' dominates Oscars
Gulf News: Controversies still dog 'Slumdog Millionaire'
Washington Post: 'Slumdog' Is Best in Show
Rueters: Every ‘Slumdog’ has its day
Boston Globe: 'Slumdog' leads the pack
UK Telegraph: From fleapit to the red carpet
London Free Press: Oscar goes to the Dog

Not to mention a ton of "Final Answer" variations.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's official: men see women in bikinis as 'sex objects'

Why The Swimsuit Issue Is So Popular

From Great Britain, the Independent reports that scientists hooked men up to brain scans and showed them pictures of women in skimpy clothes.
Scientists have demonstrated something that many women suspect and most men would admit only to themselves: pictures of scantily clad females turn women into sexual objects in the minds of men.
The article is fascinating not in the least because they picked Rosanna Davison, who had nothing to do with the study, to illustrate the effect.

(h/t to DLD)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Favre will retire from NFL

Deja Vu All Over Again

From Sports Illustrated:
The 39-year-old quarterback told the New York Jets on Wednesday that he was retiring after 18 seasons, ending a record-setting career in which he became one of the NFL's all-time greats.
Maybe this time it will take.

(h/t to to NDN's top tipster ScottyNuke)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Prosecutors Want Barry Jailed Over Tax Returns

"H&R Block Set Me Up"

Deposed Mayor-For-Life Marion Barry just can't find time to file a 1040, according to the Washington Post.
For the second time in two years, frustrated federal prosecutors took aim at Marion Barry's chronic failure to file his tax returns and urged a judge to put him in jail.

The move by authorities is the latest act in a long-running tug of war between authorities and the D.C. Council member over his tax status. In all, prosecutors say, Barry has failed to file his returns on time in eight of the past nine years.
It seems Barry thinks the tax code has a few cracks in it.

(very belated h/t to Scotty)

Octuplets' Mother Receives Public Assistance

Fourteen To Feed At Public Teat

Us Magazine reveals what most of us suspected.
Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to octuplets last month, is getting public assistance.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the 33-year-old Whittier, Calif., resident will receive $490 a month in food stamps. Three of her first six children are also disabled and receiving federal assistance.
That comes to about a buck a day per kid. She's the only person I know that will find the Costco-size baby food jars too small.

(h/t to DLD again)

'Dalai Lama' Twitter account suspended after exposed as fake

Lama Lama Ding Dong

From the United Kingdom, the Telegraph reveals that the Tibetian holy man has a doppleganger. As zenlike as most tweets are, they weren't his.
The feed attracted nearly 20,000 followers within 48 hours after launching under the Tibetan spiritual leader's name on Saturday.

It claimed to be administered by the "The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama", and directed most inquiries from other Twitterers to the exiled monk's official website.


But Twitter took the rare step of suspending the account after it emerged that the person behind it had no connection to the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

"The account was suspended because it violated our Terms of Use regarding impersonation," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said.
Still no word on the legitimacy of users Mike Hunt and Ben Dover.

(h/t to DLD)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fires cause $6.6M damage across city overnight

Hot Time In The City

The "no duh" part of the story doesn't occur until the very last paragraph of the story in the Ottawa Citizen:
All three fires are being treated as suspicious and are being investigated by the arson unit. Ottawa Paramedics said they took a man with third-degree burns to 90 per cent of his body to hospital from a hotel in the west end Friday morning. Police were not drawing any link between the unidentified man and the fires.
No, a completely burned man in the same area as a four alarm blaze has to be a total coincidence.

(h/t to Boko999 and shrieking denizen of the Achenblog)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Treasury Overpaid for Bank Assets in Bailout, Oversight Panel Says

Government Played For Sucker Again.

The Washington Post reports that federal bank bailout guys paid too much.
The investigators concluded that the Treasury under the federal bailout had invested $254 billion into companies but the preferred stock it got in return had a market value at the time of only $176 billion, or 69 percent of what the government paid, according to a congressional oversight panel report scheduled to be released today.
And that doesn't include the overdraft/ATM/service fees. Face it, the gummint got ripped off no matter what they paid or else why would the bank sell them anything. All this bailout is doing is letting the banks rip us off at wholesale prices instead of retail.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fitness Isn’t an Overnight Sensation

Eat Less, Exercise More, Repeat

The New York Times quotes a real life doctor who did a study to determine how long it takes to look good naked, or at least look better:
“To make a change in how you look, you are talking about a significant period of training,” Dr. Kraemer said. “In our studies it takes six months to a year.” And, he added, that is with regular strength-training workouts, using the appropriate weights and with a carefully designed individualized program. “That is what the reality is,” he said.
Which means I am already too late to get those six-pack abs by summer.

(h/t to Consumerist)

Daschle Apologizes for Income Tax Errors

Betcha Wish You Had Gotten The H&R Block Guarantee Now

The Washington Post says that Tom Daschle is is at least as sorry about that tax mistake as Michael Phelps is for bogarting that bong.
Thomas A. Daschle, fighting to defend his nomination to be secretary of health and human services, released a letter early today apologizing to the top lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee for mistakes on his personal income tax returns that resulted in $146,000 in back payments.
When your back taxes are larger than most people's W-2, you are in way too high of a tax bracket. Maybe he can hire Timothy Geithner's accountant.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Phelps Admits to 'Regrettable' Marijuana Use

White Punk On Dope

The Washington Post tells of swimmer gold medalist Phelps apologizing for puffing a bong.
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps acknowledged using "bad judgment" and engaging in "regrettable" behavior a day after a British tabloid published a photo in which Phelps appeared to be using marijuana.
He's got to do something to build up an appetite if he's going to eat 7,000 calories a day.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Exxon shatters profit records/Economic Signs Turn From Grim To Worse

Good News/Bad News for Exxon Stockholders. Just Bad News For The Rest Of Us

The Washington Post says that not only is the economic handbasket hell-bound, the road is getting steeper.
The accelerating pattern of grim indicators has led up to a report scheduled for release this morning on U.S. economic performance in the final three months of last year. Many economists think the economy shrank by as much as a 6 percent annual rate -- that would be the worst quarter for the economy since 1982 -- and they see little potential for growth until later this year.
But not all the toy boats are circling the drain. As CNN reports some companies seem counter-cyclical:
Exxon Mobil made history on Friday by reporting the highest quarterly and annual profits ever for a U.S. company, boosted in large part by soaring crude prices.
Bring your pitchforks, tar, and feathers up to the refinery guard shack for the protest.

(partial h/t to the ever-alert ScottyNuke)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Birth of octuplets rattles fertility experts

Imagine How It Rattles The Mom

The LA Times reports on the biggest litter of kids born yet. The experts have made one conclusion:
The chances that the eight babies born Monday were conceived naturally are infinitesimal, infertility specialists and doctors in maternal-fetal medicine say.
The mother and her children are resting and doing well at Daisy Hill Puppy Farm and Fertility Clinic.

Watch your back, Jon and Kate. These folks hit your mark all at once.

Silicon Valley Wants to Stay On the Road to Prosperity

Because The Road To Bankruptcy Is So Crowded Right Now

Daniel Lyons of the Washington Post reveals the secret business strategy of the computer industry. Guess what? It involves government money. And cheap imported labor.
Shane Robison, HP's chief strategy and technology officer, says he'd like to see the following: a permanent research-and-development tax credit, which would encourage tech companies to do more basic science research, which in turn would benefit everyone, not just the company that conducts the research; more government funding for basic science research; more spending on education; and changes in immigration laws to help foreign-born students who study in the United States to stay in the country afterward.
Lyons also pinpoints the problem with the U.S. auto industry that seems to have eluded everybody:
Detroit failed because it ignored or dismissed the threat from foreign rivals and kept making the wrong kind of cars.
Glad we got to the bottom of that mystery. And good luck with staying ahead of those lean hungry Asian engineers.

(h/t to DLD)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snowfall Threat Closes Schools

Weather Wenie-ism Strikes Again

Schools throughout the DC/Baltimore area are closed today according to the Washington Post.
Winter weather moved into the region this morning and the threat of accumulating snow led schools to close in several jurisdictions, including Montgomery County, Frederick County and Howard County in Maryland and Loudoun County in Virginia.
Mere rumors of snow routinely close schools in the mid-Atlantic region. This time they at least waited for the first snowflake to fall. Enjoy your snowdays in July, kiddies.

First Lady Assails Use of Daughters' Images for Dolls

Ty Pays No Royalties To First Family

The Washington Post has pictures of the doll that have raised Michelle Obama's ire.
Ty recently released the 12-inch dolls in their collection called TyGirlz. The dolls have soft brown skin and big eyes. Ty's Web site shows Sweet Sasha wearing two pigtails and a pink and white dress, with Marvelous Malia doll wearing her hair to the right side and a blue-green shirt.

Nope, not a thing similar to the newest First Kids. At least not according to Ty:
The company, which is based in Oak Brook, Ill., has said the dolls are not made to be exact replicas of the first couple's daughters and are not based on the Obama girls.
They have nothing in common other than the name, gender, age, and ethnic origin. Nope, nothing. This is the most disingenuous product coincidence since the Baby Ruth bar. I'm not buying it. The story or the dolls.

(h/t to ScottyNuke)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Report: Brother says McGwire used steroids

Muscles Too Good To Be True Are

The Baltimore Sun reports that Mark McGwire's brother is pedaling a book proposal that would rip the lid off the steroid scandal (and line his pockets).
Mark McGwire's youngest brother says in a book proposal that he injected the former baseball star with steroids, according to Jay McGwire is circulating a manuscript titled The McGwire Family Secret: The Truth about Steroids, a Slugger and Ultimate Redemption, the Web site reported Wednesday. Jay McGwire, a bodybuilder, said his brother started using steroids in 1994 and that he injected Mark with Deca-Durabolin. Mark McGwire has denied using illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
I would hope that this book sells even fewer copies than the one by Buddy Foster revealing that his sister Jodie is a lesbian.

But Clever Headline Of The Day goes to the Hartford Courant with this one:

McGwire's Brother Injected Into Steroids Controversy

That's the way to needle a guy.

(h/t to

Geithner Says China Manipulates Its Currency

Why Crap At Wal-Mart Is So Cheap

The Washington Post is reading the tea leaves to say that the Obama Administration is taking a harder stand with China by stating the obvious.
Timothy F. Geithner ... signaled a more confrontational approach toward China, bluntly stating that the new administration thinks Beijing is "manipulating" its currency and it will act "aggressively" using "all the diplomatic avenues" to change China's currency practices.

China's control of the value of its currency, the yuan, has been a friction point for years, with some economists saying Beijing has kept its currency artificially low to keep the prices of its goods cheap and generate trade surpluses
You need an undervalued currency to keep all that poisoned pet food and all those lead-tainted toys affordable.

Bush's 'War' On Terror Comes to a Sudden End

War Declared On Misguided Bush Policies

The Washington Post's Dana Priest declares victory and goes home.
With the stroke of his pen, [Obama] effectively declared an end to the "war on terror," as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the U.S. government in battling its enemies will not be limitless.
However, we are still waging losing battles in The War On Poverty, The War On Crime, and The War On Drugs.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wife who set husband's genitals alight on murder charge

The Burning Bed Part 2

From The Australian, we have an Adelaide woman who has done Lorenna Bobbit one better:
A MOTHER of three accused of murdering her husband by setting his genitals alight allegedly told neighbours she was a "jealous wife" who had learned he was having an affair, a court heard yesterday.

Rajini Narayan, 44, appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court where she faced an upgraded charge of murder after her husband, Satish Narayan, died on December 27 from his injuries after being burned in his home.
Because murder is what they usually charge you with if your husband dies after you set his junk aflame.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Switch to Digital TV May Not Be as Smooth as Advertised

Old People To Be Confused When TVs Don't Work

In less than a month, and just a little after the Super Bowl, analog TVs will go blank. That may cause some chaos says the Washington Post.
In less than a month, on Feb. 17, all full-power stations plan to shut off analog signals and air digital-only broadcasts. Viewers with older analog TV sets will need to hook up a converter box to receive over-the-air programs.
But many consumers are discovering that upgrading to a digital set or adding a converter box may not be enough to get a reliable digital signal. Some will also have to buy more powerful antennas to install in living rooms or on roofs, adding expense and frustration for the nearly 14 million households who rely on over-the-air signals.
Particularly hard hit will be the poor and the elderly and anyone's whose VCR (and they would still own a VCR) still blinks 12:00. Be ready for the screams all across the country of "Where's my Oprah?!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Enormous Crowd Streams From Mall

Obama And Two Million Of His Closest Friends Go Back Home

The Washington Post reports on the post-inauguration dispersal. Because nobody wants 1.8 million people hanging around in the cold all week.
The historic crowd that gathered to see Barack Obama sworn in as president has now begun leaving the Mall, crowding Metro stations and jamming downtown streets with human gridlock.

Along the Mall -- which was packed even beyond the Washington Monument -- some spectators began leaving as soon as Obama had taken the oath of office, too frozen even to wait for his address. Their trickle became a slow-moving flood after the inaugural program concluded.
The understatements in that headline are "enormous" and "crowds". It's the vigor of the verb "stream" that I doubt.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Circuit City to Close After Failing to Find a Buyer

Surprise! Crappy Store Goes Out Of Business

The New York Times finally hears the other shoe fall for the crummiest consumer electronics chain in the country:
Circuit City, once a bellwether American retailer, is going out of business for good, stripping the nation of its second-largest consumer electronics chain.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November, said Friday that it would liquidate its stores and other assets.


“We are extremely disappointed by this outcome,” said James A. Marcum, vice chairman and acting president and chief executive of Circuit City Stores Inc. He called the liquidation “the only possible path for our company.”
Did he look into getting a cash advance on his Bank of America or Citibank credit card? Seriously, I had forgotten they were still in business, which must have been part of the problem.

Bank of America, Citigroup Post Major Losses

Banks Crap On And Cheat Customers, Pay The Price

The Washington Post notes another mile marker on the road to total financial collapse.
The dismal results from Bank of America and Citigroup showed the depth of the recession during the last three months of 2008, and suggested that the economic situation is getting worse. Both companies reported that losses on products such as credit card loans were not just growing but accelerating.
Since all their customers are broke, both banks have decided that extracting blood from turnips would make a better business strategy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Detainee Tortured, Says U.S. Official

Pouring Water Down People's Nose Not Kinder And Gentler

A journalist no less than famed than Bob Woodward breaks the scoop that we had taken the gloves off when interrogating a failed 9/11 conspirator.
The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition."
At one point he was threatened with a military working dog named Zeus, according to a military report. Qahtani "was forced to wear a woman's bra and had a thong placed on his head during the course of his interrogation" and "was told that his mother and sister were whores." With a leash tied to his chains, he was led around the room "and forced to perform a series of dog tricks," the report shows.
The Bush Administration defends the techniques saying that they were conducted in accordance with both the Army Field Manual For Interrogation and the Skull And Bones Membership Initiation Ceremony Handbook.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In last news conference, Bush concedes some mistakes

Dubya Outdoes Nixon: Mistakes Were Made

Business Mirror summarizes Bush's "ultimate exit interview":
Asked about mistakes he had made while in office—a question that once famously stumped him—Bush rattled off several examples, saying that he regretted his decision to focus on Social Security reform after the 2004 elections, a drive that proved unsuccessful, instead of first addressing immigration issues.

Bush also said hanging a “Mission Accomplished” sign on an aircraft carrier after the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 was a “mistake.” He described the scandal surrounding the treatment of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq as a “huge disappointment,” as he did the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in that country, which the administration had claimed, based on faulty intelligence.
If Dubya had really wanted to come clean about his screw-ups, he should have started a lot earlier than just a week before leaving office. That sort of catalog could take some time to compile.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Safety Council Says Phoning and Driving Don't Mix

Hang Up And Drive!

The Associated Press reports:
A national safety group is advocating a total ban on the use of cellphones while driving, saying the practice is clearly dangerous and leads to fatalities.
Also on the list of dangerous activities is applying make-up, playing the accordion, and performing oral sex (although receiving it is still in the clear).

Bush says GOP ‘got whipped’ in 2008

And Not In A Good Way

On Fox News Sunday, George W. Bush is giving advice to his party, as reported by The Hill:
President Bush, urging the Republican Party to become more “open-minded,” said the GOP is down but not out after getting “whipped” in 2008.
Isn't Dubya giving election advice like the captain of the Titanic offering navigation lessons? And, yes, that is my second Titanic joke today.

The softball laden interview is here.

Economy Made Few Gains in Bush Years

Unless You Owned Exxon or Haliburton Stock

The Washington Post puts numbers to what everybody already knows.
President Bush has presided over the weakest eight-year span for the U.S. economy in decades, according to an analysis of key data, and economists across the ideological spectrum increasingly view his two terms as a time of little progress on the nation's thorniest fiscal challenges.
In the category of "Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" a Bush economic adviser vainly looks for a silver lining anywhere.
"It does look like a great eight years, aside from the last quarter, unfortunately," Edward P. Lazear, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, said in a recent interview. "In the long term, things look good."
Well, the Titanic was making great time right up to the iceberg. And didn't some economist once say that in the long term we're all dead?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Worst year for jobs since '45

Ask Your Great-Grandfather What He Did After The War

CNN says that the job market has never been worse in the lifetime of anyone not eligible for Social Security.
The steep annual drop in jobs marked the highest yearly job-loss total since 1945, the year in which World War II ended.
We had Hitler, Tojo and the atomic bomb to blame for that labor slump. Who do we pin it on this time?

Illinois House Impeaches Gov. Rod Blagojevich

News Flash: Crooked Chicago Politician Gets Caught

According to the Washington Post, the second shoe has finally dropped.
The [Illinois] House voted 114 to 1 to impeach Blagojevich a day after a special committee unanimously recommended impeachment following hearings on a variety of allegations, including federal corruption charges that led to his arrest last month. Among other alleged offenses, Blagojevich was accused in an FBI affidavit of conspiring to sell President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder.
I want to know who voted against it, but I doubt it was this guy:
A fellow Democrat on the committee said the governor's refusal to resign has made Illinois "the laughingstock of the country."
Which sure takes the heat off of Sarah Palin and her brood.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Many Teens Don't Keep Virginity Pledges

They Lie About Their Drinking Habits Too

This item is over a week old, but last week's Washington Post story was at least partially the inspiration for the No Duh Awards.
Teens who take virginity pledges are just as likely to have sex as teens who don't make such promises -- and they're less likely to practice safe sex to prevent disease or pregnancy, a new study finds.
I'm not aware of anything that prevents teens from having sex. Sarah Palin and Dina Lohan sure aren't either.

Report: alcohol fuels multiple sex partners, STDs

Beer Goggles Work

Urbanite reports that beer goggles work:
According to the report, heavy drinkers in the city tend to have more sex partners and are more likely to get sexually transmitted diseases.
People who are influenced by alcohol are more likely to sleep with people they otherwise wouldn’t and use condoms incorrectly, Locker said.
The reaction has been stunning in the number of forehead slaps. New York magazine uses the headline "New Yorkers Who Drink Have More Sex Partners, Warns Survey" to issue this caution:
Oh no! So what you're telling us is that drinking increases the risk of getting laid? For the love of Betty Ford, gay dudes, put down those Cosmos unless you want to end up naked with a hot stranger!
And Gawker breaks the news this way:
Men who sleep with other men who claim to binge drink were twice as likely to have five or more sex partners in a year than those fruits what don't drank. (I don't know what the hell I'm doing wrong...) Same applies to straight folks too, just in slightly lower numbers.
Somehow I think this study was secretly funded by the National Spirits Council.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Obama Arrives In Style

Front page story in the dead trees Washington Post.

As if he travels any other way.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

U.S. Debt Expected To Soar This Year

Front page story on the Washington Post:
...the national debt is projected to jump by as much as $2 trillion this year, an unprecedented increase that could test the world's appetite for financing U.S. government spending.
As they say, seven hundred billion here, seven hundred billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money.

Friday, January 2, 2009

End of the Year Brings A Burst of Settlements With Justice Department

From the Washington Post:
The Justice Department has reached more than a dozen business-related settlements since the presidential election, with more in the pipeline for January, prompting lawyers and interest groups to assert that companies are seeking more favorable terms before the new administration arrives.

The climate for business settlements could grow more harsh when Obama appointees seize the reins at the Justice Department, corporate lawyers say.
Let's effin' hope so. It couldn't get less harsh. If the wrist slaps got any lighter, they would attract the attention of Larry Craig.

Obama's Team Rankles the Right

According to the Washington Post:
To some staunch conservatives watching President Bush relinquish the reins of power to President-elect Barack Obama, a few too many ardent liberals are now crashing the gates.

Some well-known Democratic activists are advising Obama on how to steer federal agencies, including a few whom conservative Republicans fought hard to keep out of power in the Clinton administration. They include Roberta Achtenberg, a gay activist whose confirmation as an assistant housing secretary was famously held up by then-Sen. Jesse Helms (N.C.), and Bill Lann Lee, who was hotly opposed by foes of affirmative action and temporarily blocked from the government's top civil rights job.
Ironically, one of the people they are railing against was championed by Claiborne Pell, the deceased Senator from Rhode Island. According to his obituary:
In 1993, amid a debate over the nomination of Roberta Achtenberg, who was gay, to be an assistant secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Sen. Pell impressed his colleagues when he took to the Senate floor to announce that one of his daughters, Julia L. W. Pell, was gay.

"I would not want to see her barred from a government job because of her orientation," he said.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.