Saturday, February 28, 2009
skippy's saturday nite music club
there's a bathroom on the right
it's my tea party and i'll lie if i want to
chicagoteaparty.com was just one part of a larger network of republican sleeper-cell-blogs set up over the course of the past few months, all of them tied to a shady rightwing advocacy group coincidentally named the “sam adams alliance,” whose backers have until now been kept hidden from public. cached google records that we discovered show that the sam adams alliance took pains to scrub its deep links to the koch family money as well as the fake-grassroots “tea party” protests going on today. all of these roads ultimately lead back to a more notorious rightwing advocacy group, freedomworks, a powerful pr organization headed by former republican house majority leader dick armey and funded by koch money.
but more telling is when we follow the money:
all of these are ultimately linked up to koch’s freedom works mega-beast. freedomworks.org has drawn fire in the past for using fake grassroots internet campaigns, called “astroturfing,” to push for pet koch projects such as privatizing social security. a new york times investigation in 2005 revealed that a “regular single mom” paraded by bush’s white house to advocate for privatizing social security was in fact freedomworks’ iowa state director. the woman, sandra jacques, also fronted another iowa fake-grassroots group called “for our grandchildren,” even though privatizing social security was really “for koch and wall street fat cats.”
addendum: also discussed on the big picture, to whom we link purely for the memeorandum traffic.
update: the wingnuts attack!
later gator later gator -- and then some...
and search i did. i hit six different places in three different parts of the metro richmond area yesterday, looked hard at what they all had to offer, and to my surprise, all six places -- six quite distinct places, i assure you -- offered what i consider more pros than cons. naturally, this makes my task of deciding where i want to live next that much harder. but this is exactly why i choose to live in a city/metro area rather than a small town or a rural area. for good or ill, urban/suburban areas are alive, diverse, pulsing, flowing -- whereas small towns and rural areas seem to be frozen in time. i grew up in small towns, and i never really liked living in any of them. they seem to be great places to go if you want to lay down and die. thank the flying spaghetti monster for places like richmond and henrico, places i would be happy to spend the rest of my life.
after i was done with that, i decided to drop in on what appears to be the only gay bookstore left in virginia: phoenix rising. i bought a book by one leroy aarons: "prayers for bobby: a mother's coming to terms with the suicide of her gay son." they made a movie about this, which i haven't seen yet. but i'd heard about bobby griffith's suicide, and his mother's soul-wrenching struggle to deal with it. so i purchased the book. it's not only a painful read, it reminds me of just how isolated i remain. it reminds me of how much time it took me to come to terms with being gay. three-plus decades. and, frankly, it doesn't help that every time i walk into phoenix rising, at least one other patron looks at me like i'm one of the @$$#0!e$ responsible for murdering matthew shepard. excuse me for not immediately coming across as a twinkie, a drag queen, a leather fetishist, or liberace, as the more-ghey-than-thou sub-culture demands, sweetie. i like wearing plaid shirts and blue jeans. they suit me just fine.
anyway, once i was done apartment-browsing and application-collecting, i stopped at the village, a plaza not far from where i live, for a bite to eat. up until last year, a fine little lebanese/mediterranean restaurant, the grapeleaf, was one of the village's attractions. i used to recommend it to people looking for a great place to eat because nearly all of my favorite foods hail from or very near to the mediterranean region. unfortunately, the economy was falling apart at the seams in earnest last year, and i guess the grapeleaf just didn't have a lifeboat to cling to. it's gone now. that was bad enough.
even worse is what opened up in its place this week: the newest franchise of a 50s/early 60s-themed outfit calling itself -- get this -- cheeburger cheeburger. not "cheeseburger cheeseburger," mind you. cheeburger cheeburger. that is not a typo. for some reason, this is where i decided to eat a late lunch -- all the while thinking to myself, 1) where's my grapeleaf, you doo-wop ducktail alley oop m&%$@f*&k%@$, and 2) that is the second most dip$#!+ted name for a food franchise i have ever heard of. (number one is this.) and i ate there anyway, so what does that say about me?
well, it says i have a higher tolerance for strained attempts at recreating happy days-like nostalgia than i thought i did. the place has its own piped-in music, which is occasionally broken up by chee-squared endorsements from a "deejay" who sounded to me like a young wolfman jack resigned to washing his prozac down with old milwaukee lite. and hey, that's fine. you know, i'm just scarfing down a nice medium-cooked cheeseburger with toppings (oh, all right, cheeburger with toppings) plus a side of onion rings. the food was excellent. but did i have to listen to the original version of "teen angel" while eating it? bucko, please! happy days my gay bookstore-patronizing ass.
what a disappointing finish to an otherwise invigorating day. i'd spent the bulk of it looking for a new place to live, nearly overwhelmed by the sheer range of options at my disposal -- and had topped that off with a visit to phoenix rising and the purchase of a book that interested, inspired, saddened, angered, and impressed me all at the same time.
and then i went to cheeburger cheeburger.
you know what? i'd rather have other gay guys look at me like i'm out to kill them for being gay than set foot in that lousy burger joint again. i'm still in the toe-dipping stage when it comes to coming out locally, so that's all right -- sooner or later, they'll realize that the only threat i pose is to myself, and then they'll begin to relax.
in the meantime, i have to secure a new place to live.
til further on...
Friday, February 27, 2009
skippy's friday nite music club
das pop - electronica for lovers
how tweet it is
it's really kind of stupid, if you ask us.
mad about the political twittersphere
(p.s., mad, shouldn't that be "twittertopia"?
Thursday, February 26, 2009
skippy's thursday nite music club
jane monheit & michael buble - i won't dance
the new kids try the old standard...and not bad!
"everything changes" is just the coward's way of saying "everything dies"
rich boehne, chief executive officer of rocky-owner scripps, broke the news to the staff at noon today, ending nearly three months of speculation over the paper's future.
"people are in grief," editor john temple said a noon news conference.
but he was intent on making sure the rocky's final edition, which would include a 52-page wraparound section, was as special as the paper itself.
"this is our last shot at this," temple said at a second afternoon gathering at the newsroom. "this morning (someone) said it's like playing music at your own funeral. it's an opportunity to make really sweet sounds or blow it. i'd like to go out really proud."
boehne told staffers that the rocky was the victim of a terrible economy and an upheaval in the newspaper industry.
"denver can't support two newspapers any longer," boehne told staffers, some of whom cried at the news. "it's certainly not good news for you, and it's certainly not good news for denver."
skippy liked the rocky mtn. news, mainly for its easy to handle book-like fold, which made it easy to read on the bus or anywhere else, w/o the extra hassle of more folds and re-folds to hold it in a convenient reading fashion.
and when skippy was reading papers, a dose of news in the morning w/coffee was a great way to start the day.
rip rocky mtn. news.
and now for something completely different
not your usual break out artist...
(photo from the latte times)
staff at the santa monica pier aquarium in california say the trickster who flooded their offices with sea water was armed. eight-armed, to be exact. they blame the soaking they discovered tuesday morning on the aquarium's resident two-spotted octopus, a tiny female known for being curious and gregarious with visitors. the octopus apparently tugged on a valve and that allowed hundreds of gallons of water to overflow its tank. - ap
the tiny octopus, which is about the size of a human forearm when its appendages are extended, floated lazily in the water that remained in its tank. it watched intently through glass walls and portholes as workers struggled to dry the place out in time for the day's first busload of schoolchildren to arrive on a 9:30 a.m. field trip. - latte times
from the emails we never bothered to finish reading dept.
wir haben das sortiment der computerprogramme unseres kleinen geschäfts erneuert.
wir bieten ihnen die neusten versionen der programme für pc und macintosh auf allen europäischen sprachen an.
torn (sort of)...
mad about bobby "kenneth the page' jindal
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
skippy's wednesday nite music club
j.j. cale - cajun moon
quote of the day
down the penrose lane
pork? you mean bacon! kevin bacon!
one of mrs. skippy's best friends happens to be a first cousin to gary locke, obama's nominee for commerce secretary. reuters:
"it's not lost on anyone that we have tried this a couple of times. but i'm a big believer at keeping at something until you get it right," obama said.
locke was the first chinese american governor in u.s. history. during his two terms as governor from 1997 through 2004 he led eight trade missions to china and opened a washington state trade office in guangzhou.
and now the cousin, and all the lockes (and the skippy's, too, for that matter) are very proud for gary.
addendum: as far as the skippy's know, gary locke has paid all his income taxes.
if you hide income to evade taxes
ubs was sued on tuesday in a swiss federal court by wealthy american clients seeking to prevent the disclosure of their identities as part of a tax-evasion investigation by the united states justice department. - nytimes
question for the rethuglicans
iowa's government...the city of atalissa
iowa's social-services agency acknowledged tuesday that it looked into a company's treatment of its mentally disabled meatpacking workers as early as the 1970s, but decided it lacked the jurisdiction or enough evidence to act.
...the men lived at a 106-year-old house that locals called the bunkhouse. the city of atalissa owned the home, and city officials recently acknowledged that some of its doors were padlocked, windows were boarded up and the heating system was broken, leaving only space heaters.
the men worked for henry's turkey service, a texas company that provided labor for a meatpacker near atalissa in west liberty. recent inquiries showed the company diverted much of the mentally disabled men's paychecks and government payments to living expenses, leaving them about $65 a month in wages. - ap
missed last night's speech...
so, to anyone who did catch the speech, how was it?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
skippy's tuesday nite music club
department of eagles - nobody does it like you
live on a roof top. where have we seen that before?
actually, these guys are pretty good.
if you go to new orleans...
that may be the case. but it ain't really sayin' much, is it?
Monday, February 23, 2009
skippy's monday nite music club
perez prado & his orchestera - dancing mambo #8
skippy's monday nite music club
two new orleans music greats...harry connick jr. and ellis marsalis - "caravan"
this week’s featured blog is rurality. meet karen, the host and blogger who brings rural alabama to your desktop. karen is a former electrical engineer who fled the corporate world in 1996 and started a small handmade soap business. a move to the country reignited her interest in photography and nature.
people are hungry for change....
food stamp delays surge in colorado - denver post
food stamps, fuel requests rise - rocktown weekly, virginia
more floridians get food stamps - pensicola news journal
more texans and oklahomans in need of food stamps - kten, tx
dog food bank opens in clackamas county - oregonian
1 in 5 in la county receiving public aid - pasadena star news
democrats need to start hammering in the fact that awol and his band of thieves (the republican party) are responsible for this economic disaster. and those folks do want "less desirable" (poor) people to suffer.
it's just not north dakota
but there are folks with good common sense out there...they just don't seem to be in the legislature though.
as part of a renewed pro-life strategy to challenge roe v. wade, lawmakers in seven states are working toward legislation to grant constitutional rights to human embryos.
five states, including maryland, north dakota, montana, south carolina and alabama, have recently introduced "personhood" bills. the bills affirm the right to life for pre-borns from the moment of conception. for some states, the bill also declares the word "persons" as applying to all human life, irrespective to biological development. - the christian post
certainly iuds, which prevent implantation rather than fertilization, would be illegal, as would some birth control pills. and given the lack of trust in the professional ethics of board-certified physicians evidenced in the original version of the bill, we can bet there will be legislation down the road to absolutely ensure that a terminated ectopic pregnancy – or a spontaneous abortion or a miscarriage – wasn’t a plain old abortion in disguise. (doctors can be so tricky.)
in fact, the people of north dakota have no real idea what the legislation might mean for our people and our state, other than we can be pretty sure it will take millions of taxpayer dollars to defend the bill. and there are obvious things that would be illegal: stem cell research; termination of the pregnancy of a 14-year-old victim of incest; termination of the pregnancy of a 19-year-old college student given rohypnol and gang-raped.
what we don’t know is what it will mean for the medical community and women with problem pregnancies or fertility problems. for instance, what will happen in iffy situations, such as when physicians know that pregnancy will seriously exacerbate diabetes or kidney disease in a woman but won’t necessarily kill her? how can they give the advice they think is most ethical if they expect to be hauled into court to defend it?
and what about fertility treatments? if the unused normal fertilized eggs from ivf are frozen, what happens to the abnormal fertilized eggs also created by the procedures? for that matter, if the parents don’t want the leftover frozen embryos, do they become wards of the state?- in forum
let's not sweep this issue under the rug like so many other important issues. this is a human rights issue. yes, it may come a surprise to some out there that women are human too and women must never be shuttled back into the catagory of being someone's property...neither should their bodies.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
happy 6 year blogiversary
skippy's sunday nite music club
amanda seyfried - thank you for the music
from mama mia!, the movie we think meryl streep should have been nominated for...
environmental news stories sunday
oil polluters owe state $197 million.
when the state set up its oil spill compensation fund in 1977 to cover the cost of emergency cleanups, it expected those responsible for pollution to repay. but it often does not work out that way. polluters don't cover what it costs the state simply to run the fund, much less to clean the spills. - albany times union
new environment for agenda. for years, sen. barbara boxer dreaded fridays. that was the day each week, she said, when bush administration officials would change federal rules to weaken some environmental protection. - palm springs desert sun
severe drought adds to hardships in california.
the economic downturn is being deepened in california by a severe drought that threatens to drive up joblessness, increase food prices and cripple farms and towns. - nytimes
prepare for a climate-changed world, say engineers. a report by the uk's institution of mechanical engineers will next month call for governments to accept that climate change is now inevitable. strategies must be put in place now to protect our infrastructure from its worst effects, alongside existing efforts to reduce emissions, it will argue. - new scientist
green & gray: older adults seek homes easy on them and earth. for steve crow, the epiphany came when he watched al gore's movie about global warming, "an inconvenient truth." - portland oregonian
experts map carbon emissions with google. american scientists led by purdue university unveiled an interactive google earth map on thursday showing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels across the united states. - afp
Saturday, February 21, 2009
skippy's saturday nite music club
austin hartley-leonard - golden opportunity
give this song a chance...the opening verse is a bit thin, but it grows on ya
there's a special on dire wolf fossils in the basement
imagine everyone's surprise when construction workers found the largest cache of pre-historic fossilized bones ever. guardian uk:
the find includes an almost intact colombian mammoth, nicknamed zed by researchers, a complete sabre-tooth cat skeleton, a giant ground sloth and a north american lion.
the discovery, close to the la brea tar pits where the remains of 34 mammoths were uncovered almost a century ago, has excited palaeontologists because it gives them an unparalleled glimpse of life in the los angeles basin more than 10,000 years ago.
unlike earlier excavations, workers were able to preserve intact smaller fossils, including turtles, clams, snails, fish and tree trunks. in previous discoveries, these items were discarded as the larger fossils were uncovered.
the site of the old two-story parking garage, which was used by the now-defunct may co. department store, is now owned by the page's neighboring museum, the los angeles county museum of art. lacma had razed the building to construct an underground parking garage that would restore parkland above the structure.
the entire rancho la brea area at hancock park is a paleontological treasure chest. petroleum from the once-massive underground oil fields oozed to the surface over the millennia, forming bogs that trapped and killed unsuspecting animals and then preserved their skeletons. it is now a protected site, although dispensation was granted to build the new garage.
we like what you've done with the place
Friday, February 20, 2009
skippy's friday nite music club
the four freshmen - you're so far above me
rip socks the cat
marcy nighswander / associated press
the former first cat has gone to kitty heaven. latimes:
of late, socks "could no longer stand and wasn't eating," landau told people magazine.
"i'm miserable, miserable, miserable," betty currie, clinton's former secretary, said today in an interview with the southern maryland news.
in a statement released through the william j. clinton foundation, bill and hillary clinton said: "socks brought much happiness to chelsea and us over the years, and enjoyment to kids and cat lovers everywhere. we're grateful for those memories, and we especially want to thank our good friend, betty currie, for taking such loving care of socks for so many years."
over the course of his long life, socks inspired books, television.
parts better be available
general motors corp.'s swedish-based subsidiary saab went into bankruptcy protection friday so the unit can be spun off or sold by its struggling u.s. parent, officials said.
the move comes after sweden turned down gm's request for government help for saab. - ap
nice to find out that gm is going begging for dollars from other countries, too....especially those "socialist" countries that they dread so much....
Thursday, February 19, 2009
skippy's thursday nite music club
stevie ray vaughan - pride and joy
pope to pelosi "protect life at all stages of development"
14 kids and delusional mom and a shopping cart
the whittier house where nadya suleman, the mother of octuplets, and her six other children have been living with her parents is in pre-foreclosure, according to records. - latte times
salmon is good for us
the smallest number of pacific ocean salmon ever recorded swam back to the sacramento river via san francisco bay last fall, the latest evidence of the decline of the storied fish along the west coast, officials said wednesday.
the pacific fishery management council, a federal body that regulates commercial and sport fishing, estimated that only 66,286 adult salmon returned to the sacramento river to spawn. six years ago, the peak return was 13 times higher.- sfgate
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
skippy's wednesday nite music club
black crowes - she talks to angels
we like what you've done with the place
santa barbara is being lubricated
looks like platform "harmony" isn't living up to it's name....
a mixture of oil and water leaking wednesday from an exxon mobil platform spread across a mile of ocean off the southern california coast, federal and state officials said.
initial reports indicated the leak on platform harmony came from a deck drainage tank where rainwater, lubricants and fluids drain into a sump, said coast guard spokeswoman stephanie young. she said the company reported the leak monday and was still working wednesday to stop the mixture from seeping into the santa barbara channel. - ap
attention all women in north dakota
north dakota's house of representatives has passed a bill effectively outlawing abortion.
the house voted 51-41 this afternoon to declare that a fertilized egg has all the rights of any person. - kxmc.com
the federal reserve warned wednesday that the nation's crippled economy is even worse than thought and predicted it would deteriorate throughout 2009, with no sign that the housing market will stabilize. - ap
mad about repubbblicans
blogrollin in our time
you've got to fight for your right to a serious party
skippy has worked w/a film maker, david lasdon, on several projects.
david, a republican, feels (like many of us do) that the current gop has lost its way.
(ok, we feel it's lost its mind, but the general ideas are similar.)
david is in the middle of making a documentary on his travels and travails into the depths of repubbblicanism (he was a delegate to last year's convention) and we admire his on-the-ground grass-roots approach to the problem enough to bring you the trailer for his yet-unfinished work (above).
he's looking for tax-deductible donations to help complete his film. more info can be found @ where's the party?
dave is a good guy and sincere in his concern for his chosen political party (and we believe his concerns to be legitimate).
take a look @ his trailer, and go to his website to look around.
gee these guys are working fast
the obama administration is throwing out food labeling rules proposed by the agriculture department just before george w. bush left office, saying it wants labels for fresh meat and other foods that would show more clearly where an animal or food came from, according to consumer groups who've been briefed on the issue. - ap
he ain't no joltin' joe
forget o'reilly, hannity, or even fox and friends. msnbc's morning joe is the most entertaining expression of how far behind the curve the obama election has left the mainstream media, whose cable personalities multiplied like toadstools in the damp darkness of the bush presidency. unable to adjust to the new sunlit era or match the president's suave wonkiness, they crawl back to what's familiar.at least one of the national lampoon movies was funny....
and for morning joe, that means a reprise of the great american family sitcom, reincarnated this time as a political talk show.
joe scarborough is the clueless suburban dad, always trembling on the edge of
age-inappropriate behavior, like chevy chase in the long-running national lampoon's vacation series. the comely erin burnett, who visits daily from next-door neighbor cnbc, is the christie brinkley character, tempting dad away from the cougarish but perhaps ho-hum mom, mika brzezinski--ho-hum because she's more intelligent, and frequently undermines him.
the supporting cast includes mike barnicle, as the crusty old uncle who drops in to grouse that the average guy's getting a bum deal!(true to type, this uncle has
amusingblind spots--like raging against executive pay caps for bailed-out bankers without disclosing, until bloggers shamed him, that his wife is the chief marketing officer for bank of america).... - the nation
haven't been angry enough to post in a while
i wrote sean delonas an email.
ok, the cartoon with the dead chimp and the policeman saying that someone else would have to write the stimulus bill is shameful.anybody think i'm over reacting? i don't.
if you're saying the president is a chimp, because people compared a*wol to a chimp, you're not figuring in the race card, which always counts. i don't want it to count, but it does.
if you're being that racist, you should hang your head in sadness over your own ignorance.
if you're saying that other people are racist, then you're missing your mark, because my first thought was that *you* should be ashamed for putting this out there.
please think long and hard about how this insults so many people, at so many levels.
[ed. addendum: neither does the huffington post, to whom we link strictly for the memeorandum traffic]
oopsie. guess who has a tax problem
gov. sarah palin must pay income taxes on thousands of dollars in expense money she received while living at her wasilla home, under a new determination by state officials. - anchorage daily news
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
skippy's tuesday nite music club
terry jacks - seasons in the sun
time is on their side
addendum: and look who gets on time's list of most overrated blogs! can you say "karma"?
dr. dean speaks
"the far right's all out offensive against medical research"...over at the huffypo
more peanut product recalls
junior's cheesecake & desserts is recalling its 8-inch peanut butter
chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake
bad byron's specialty food products inc. is recalling its barbecue seasoned roasted peanuts.
bear naked is recalling 12-ounce packages of bear naked all-natural peanut butter granola and bear naked all-natural peanut butter granola with heavenly chocolate with a "better if used before" date before feb. 1, 2010.
theo chocolate inc. is recalling peanut butter big daddy and peanut confections.
slim-fast is extending a recall of slim-fast optima caramel crispy
peanut meal on-the-go bars - ap
remember...these recalls are voluntary. how can one company affect so many others? can we talk about the problem of consolidation?
in her first interview since giving birth, the teenage daughter of alaska gov. sarah palin said having a child is not "glamorous," and that telling young people to be abstinent is "not realistic at all." - cnn
straight and narrative
how do you explain the fact that so many in the press, pundits and others as well, were saying obama has to be bipartisan?
i think that the ideology of the press is not so much liberal or conservative. they think themselves the keepers of realism, of savviness. i think the real religion of the american press is savviness. and in their view, it isn’t savvy to say you’re going to mobilize the anger and frustration of the american people and bring that power to washington to change it.
that’s not how politics works. the way politics works is you say things like that to get elected, and then, once you’re in, you make your accommodations, you show that you want to hew to the center. you demonstrate that you’re bipartisan. you pick people who are familiar.
and it’s those eternal laws of politics that journalists feel they know better than us. and they expect politics to kind of run down these rails that they’ve laid down, because then we have to turn to them for the inside story. and this is what they want to continue.
i agree with jay, that it isn’t so much that the media is liberal or conservative in terms of how those terms are defined conventionally in our political spectrum. what ends up happening is that ideas that are threatening to the media and to the political elite end up being attached to the label of liberalism or leftist ideology.
with the corresponding orthodoxy that the one thing obama, for instance, needs to show, is that he’s not beholden to the far left of his party, or that he’s willing to scorn the leftists and the liberals in his party. that’s when he generates the most praise. and the-
from the washington press corps.
from the washington press corps.
if you go back and look at the way in which obama was praised for the last two months, almost entirely by the media, will almost always be based on this idea that he’s not an ideologue that he’s not in concert with the liberals and the leftists in his party. that’s the great accomplishment in the eyes of the media; a president could possibly aspire to.
and the reason for that is because in their eyes, what liberalism or the leftist ideology that they’re scorning, are not things about policy making per se, or even approaches to foreign policy. it’s the idea that the prevailing consensus among our political elite is corrupted and needs to be radically changed. and so, what i think they are most afraid of is having the anger of the american people start to affect what happens within their system. what they want more than anything else, is to exclude those external influences.
here’s another way to look at it. the press is full of behaviorists. they don’t know they’re behaviorists, but they are.
what do you mean?
a behaviorist is somebody who thinks that we can figure out what’s going on by looking at probabilities and large numbers of people, and what tends to happen with those people. and politics runs on laws like that to a large extent. however, there’s another aspect of politics, which is leadership, action, bringing something new into the world, starting something that didn’t exist before. having an idea nobody had before. pushing it through.
journalists, deep down, don’t believe that action really works. but the real excitement of democratic politics is that something new can come into the world, because we decided it. because there was an election. because there’s a new crowd in town.
do you think that’s happening?
i think it very much could happen.
environmental stories...just because
rocket (fuel) man.
a decade ago, nevada's congressional delegation won a grant from the epa to fund drinking-water improvements. richard bryan, one of nevada's two democratic senators at the time, proudly declared that nevadans had a right "to safe, clean drinking water." ten years later, bryan was a lobbyist for manufacturers of perchlorate. - mother jones
records contain pollution portrait.
state health and environmental regulators have levied about $55 million in fines since 1991 for more than 6,100 violations of the state's pollution laws, a new searchable watchdog database shows. a first-ever analysis of this data paints a portrait of pollution - charleston post & courier
scientists warn of persistent 'dead zones' in chesapeake bay and elsewhere.
healing low-oxygen aquatic "dead zones" in the chesapeake bay and hundreds of other spots worldwide will be trickier than previously imagined because the low oxygen levels that make it impossible for most organisms to survive also kill bacteria crucial to removing nitrogen from the water. - wapo
saving jaguars, tigers can prevent human diseases?
in central and south america, jaguars are often labeled as "cattle killers" and are slaughtered on sight. but a decline in top-level predators such as the jaguar can lead to a boom in prey populations that encourages the spread of disease including hiv, west nile virus, and avian influenza. - national geographic
honeybees under attack on all fronts. the world's honeybees appear to be dying off in horrifying numbers, and now consensus is starting to emerge on the reason why: it seems there is no one cause - new scientist
drought and fire here to stay with el nino's return. victoria is likely to come under the influence of another el nino within the next three years, exacerbating the drought and the likelihood of bushfires, a senior bureau of meteorology climate scientist says. - melbourne age
Monday, February 16, 2009
skippy's monday nite music club
the moody blues - go now
introduced by dean jones on hullabaloo; watched closely by brian epstein on a stool (@ about 2:30)
the brits and the french butt heads again...
a royal navy nuclear submarine was involved in a collision with a rench nuclear sub in the middle of the atlantic, the mod has confirmed. - the beebsoh, that looks good....
20,000 pink slips
in addition to shutting down public-works projects, schwarzenegger administration moves toward massive state layoffs as legislators continue to seek the one gop vote needed to pass a budget. - latte timesformer governor gray davis is looking better and better these days.
brian over at calitics has some suggestions on what we can do...
The media has now taken notice that the Republicans are trying to bring the state down with them. But the media has little power if we aren't watching and if our leaders don't know we are watching them. So, here is what we need to do:
Call Senator Abel Maldanado (R-Monterey County, 916-651-4015) and tell him to give up his list of demands and end this hostage situation.
Call Senator Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks, 916-651-4001) and tell him that the state deserves better than a Senator who goes back on a deal when threatened by his own
Tell as many people to do the same thing. Use every tool at your disposal, Twitter, facebook, or just word of mouth. The more people that know about this Republican extremism threatening our state, the better.
u.s. bankers should feel lucky....
here's an interesting item to think about in the debate over executive-compensation limits. a british politician is now calling for bonuses at bailed-out banks to be limited to £2,000, the amount typically received by low-level bank tellers.
at current exchange rates this is equal to $2,854.30 -- less than 1% of the cap that claire mccaskill has advocated over here, and for which she's been either praised or reviled as a populist lefty.
the british pol who is calling for this: david cameron, leader of the conservative party. - think progress
personally, i think this idea should carry over to these shores.
please send this man your best wishes...
he's confident about getting through the surgery and making a full recovery, which is a great sign. still, it wouldn't hurt to send him a little love anyway.
and hey, it beats the hell out of calling your congresscreatures' offices, too. believe me, you'll actually feel like you're accomplishing something for a change. so go send him some love...
mad about obama
down the penrose lane
Sunday, February 15, 2009
skippy's sunday nite music club
the amadeus quartet - string quartet no. 4:4 - allegretto pizzicato by bela bartok
msnbc's first read lists among its winners "the republican party (which demonstrated unity after its big losses in november), and no.2 house republican eric cantor (who raised his profile during the debate)." reid gets a win, pelosi gets a loss.
chris cillizza also declares eric cantor a victor for maintaining party discipline (although he tags him a loser too for the afsme ad). reid gets a "win" her too, and house democrats are deemed losers, because "it appeared as though this was a senate-run production."
fox news unsurprisingly says "republican lawmakers may turn out to be winners. most of them voted against the package, and in their largely unified opposition, they found an issue to galvanize the party after two consecutive dispiriting electoral defeats." reid and pelosi don't exist.
liz sidoti also says the republicans win: "adrift after back-to-back electoral losses, they found their voice against a democratic speaker and an expanded majority. they held to the gop's cornerstone of fiscal conservatism as they led the effort to define the package as too costly and too quick." likewise, jon boehner: "he strengthened his hold on his job, keeping his rank-and-file united against the house version." again, reid gets a win. she gives pelosi and mitch mcconnell losses.
but according to daily kos polling, the change in public opinion from a poll taken from feb. 2-5 to the latest one taken from feb. 9-12 indicates that pelosi, reid and the democratic party have actually gone up in public approval -- all had a net change of +2 points, while the congressional dems scored a +3. conversely, republicans went down -- the republican party had a net change of -2, while mcconnell, boehner and congressional republicans all had a loss of -3.
addendum: via kevin drum, we find that mark kleiman thinks some beltway journos are actually starting to have the light dawn on them, ie, obama & the dems are winning:
since taking office on jan. 20, the president has signed legislation extending government-financed health care to millions of lower-income children who lack it, a bill that president george w. bush twice vetoed. obama also has placed his signature on a measure making it easier for workers to sue their employers for alleged job discrimination, effectively overturning a ruling by the supreme court's conservative majority...
espo's story carries no hint of the earlier widely-repeated nonsense about how the failure of republicans to vote for the bill even after it had been somewhat tailored to meet their original objections constitutes a defeat for obama's post-partisan ambitions. it seems far more likely to constitute an act of collective political self-immolation. the stimulus bill and obama are both quite popular, and the republicans just the opposite. the public doesn't seem to have had nearly as much trouble as, for example, the editorial page of the washington post in figuring out which side is extending the hand of friendship and which side is biting it.
blogrolling in our time
and stop the press!
environmental stories sunday
fda, state stretched thin in inspecting food. a deadly salmonella outbreak that forces the removal of nearly 2,000 products from grocery store shelves raises the question: how can this happen? - dallas news
immensity of drywall problem still unfolding. with more than 313 million pounds of chinese drywall imported into florida in 2006, some of it good and some of it bad, getting a handle on where the system broke down is a daunting task. - bradenton herald
sick workers, guardsmen blame kbr. ten contractors and dozens of national guardsmen — including a dying senior officer — allege that houston-based kbr knowingly allowed them to be poisoned by cancer-causing chemicals at a basra water plant where they were making repairs to keep iraq’s oil fields pumping during the war.- houston chronicle
behind the big dry. scientists are struggling to understand the climatic conditions behind the unusually severe drought that has wreaked havoc on southeastern australia. new research suggests the answer might lie in the indian ocean.- living on earth.
climate change may be more devastating than thought. accelerated global warming could ignite tropical forests and melt the arctic tundra, releasing billions of tons of greenhouse gas that could raise global temperatures even more, a member of the nobel prize-winning intergovernmental panel on climate change warned. - palo alto weekly
Saturday, February 14, 2009
skippy's saturday nite music club
thelonious monster - try
they won't give me unemployment but
firms would get nearly $1 billion in breaks, while the average person would pay higher taxes five ways. - latte times
you know...this being valentines day and all..you would think that our elected officials would have sent us chocolate or flowers before they s****d us.
bailout recipients use bailout moolah
car industry groups are gearing up for a long fight and the likelihood of legal action against proposals by president barack obama - telegraph uk
can we get our state's share of the bailout funds back?
quote of the day
a stimulus hero is something to be
jane hamsher disagrees.
steve benen sez that repubbbs secretly liked the bill.
Friday, February 13, 2009
skippy's friday nite music club
army of lovers - crucified
this is what republicans like
since the late 1970s, henry's turkey service has been shipping mentally retarded men from texas to iowa to work in the west liberty plant. henry's has acted as the workers' employer, landlord and caregiver — paying the men a reduced wage for their work at the plant and then deducting from their pay the cost of room, board and care. payroll records indicate the men are left with as little as $65 per month in salary. - des moines register
in its (falsely) reassuringly subtitled booklet “the food defect action levels: levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans,” the fda.’s center for food safety and applied nutrition establishes acceptable levels of such “defects” for a range of foods products, from allspice to peanut butter.
among the booklet’s list of allowable defects are “insect filth,” “rodent filth” (both hair and excreta pellets), “mold,” “insects,” “mammalian excreta,” “rot,” “insects and larvae” (which is to say, maggots), “insects and mites,” “insects and insect eggs,” “drosophila fly,” “sand and grit,” “parasites,” “mildew” and “foreign matter” (which includes “objectionable” items like “sticks, stones, burlap bagging, cigarette butts, etc.”). - nytimes
the senate voted 60-38 friday night for the package of tax cuts and federal spending that obama made the centerpiece of his plan for economic recovery. the roll call was extended into the night to allow time for democratic sen. sherrod brown to fly back from ohio, where his mother died earlier in the week.
his was the decisive 60th vote for the bill, which had the support of just three gop senators.
court victory for him, al franken
the 17-page order [pdf] issued late today, will likely come as a blow to former senator norm coleman's (r) chances of overtaking presumptive senator-elect al franken's (d) current lead of some 250 votes out of approximately 2.9 million ballots cast last november...
earlier this week, the judges ordered both sides to present arguments on whether 19 different categories of rejected absentee ballots should, or shouldn't, be considered for counting in the trial. previously, the court had narrowed the "ballot universe" --- those ballots to be considered for possible counting --- to some 4,800 ballots submitted by the coleman team, and about 800 from franken's team.
most of the ballots were previously rejected for counting on both election night, and again during the post-election hand-count, for various reasons, most notably because voters failed to follow certain requirements, such as signing their ballot or submitting a proper registration form along with it…
at this moment, we don't yet know how many ballots remain in the "ballot universe" following the ruling, though at a telephonic press conference for reporters held moments ago, franken attorney marc elias contended that some 13 out of 19 categories they'd wanted exclude from counting were, in fact, excluded in the ruling by the court. another 4 categories they'd wanted excluded may or may not be a part of this ruling.
though elias didn't know how many exactly, he said "a huge number" of ballots would now be excluded from the "universe" in current consideration. "there are a total of 17 of the 19 that it appears we've prevailed on, either explicitly or implicitly in the reasoning," he said.
franken had argued against counting ballots in 17 of the 19 categories, while coleman's team had wanted all but two categories counted, arguing that many of the rejected ballots should be counted, despite a failure by voters to follow all requirements for casting absentee ballots…
update 4:50pm pt: tpm's eric kleefeld describes the ruling as "very bad news for norm coleman," and notes that in addition to the numbers of ballots no longer available for consideration, the ruling strikes down an important argument in coleman's case to date:
happy friday the 13th
to everyone...especially fang fans!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
skippy's thursday nite music club
incubus - love hurts
the elevator music hits the bottom floor.
but who knew there was such a history behind this soul sucking sound....
it might come as no surprise to those many millions who have grown to hate elevator music and its bastard offspring on-hold messaging, but the origins of muzak can be traced to the united states military. as well as being a phd and serial inventor in the field of radio, general squier was also an aviation pioneer, helping the us air force get off the ground with its first planes and worked with the wright brothers. after the first world war, during which he had been in the forefront of the rapidly emerging military signals technology, general squier spotted a civilian market for his wired sound and he sold his patents to a public utility company which began piping music into staten island direct from a hand-cranked record player at its new york city premises. such a wired domestic music service was facing eclipse by the growth of radio, but there remained plenty of scope for pushing the product into the commercial sector. and before the general died in 1935 he was to bequeath one more
brainwave to the emerging phenomenon. inspired by george eastman's celebrated kodak trade name, he re-christened the company muzak.
but muzak was always about more than just music and its core. in the 1940s, muzak came up with stimulus progression, the belief that piped music in the workplace, properly played, could stimulate production. obviously, true music lovers should look away now, but this quasi-scientific (some might argue pseudo-scientific) theory claimed that an individual's mood could be lifted through listening to programmed sound in 15-minute segments. within each block, the music is ordered from least to most stimulating, with the final and most upbeat track followed by a quarter of an hour of silence. - the independent
spineless chicken sh**
guess he's just not all that into saving our country. but then again, neither are the republicans. they are hellbent on destroying our country.
this much is now clear. their clear and open intent is to do all they can, however they can, to sabotage the new administration (and the economy to boot). they want failure. even now. even after the last eight years. even in a recession as steeply dangerous as this one. - andrew sullivan.
you could always try rebooting
dear tech support,
last year i upgraded from boyfriend 5.0 to husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under boyfriend 5.0.
in addition, husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as:
• romance 9.5 and
• personal attention 6.5
and then installed undesirable programs such as:
• nba 5.0,
• nfl 3.0 and
• golf clubs 4.1.
conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. please note that i have tried running nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.
what can i do?
first, keep in mind, boyfriend 5.0 is an entertainment package, while husband 1.0 is an operating system.
please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the guilt 3.0 update.
• if that application works as designed, husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications jewelry 2.0 and flowers 3.5.
however, remember, overuse of the above application can cause husband 1.0 to default to grumpy silence 2.5, happy hour 7.0, or beer 6.1.
• please note that beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the farting and snoring loudly beta.
whatever you do, do not under any circumstances install mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)
in addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the boyfriend 5.0 program. these are unsupported applications and will crash husband 1.0.
in summary, husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. you might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. we recommend:
• cooking 3.0 and
• hot lingerie 7.7.
question of the day -- and, unfortunately, this one's a toughie...
'cause on the one hand, our workplace has been holding its own against this fourteen-month-old recession very nicely, thank you. and me personally, i've been going against the grain for four months or so -- while others are having their hours scaled down or are being laid off or fired outright, my workload has gone up a substantial bit. parts of others' losses proved to be my gain, to spin it painlessly -- though, frankly, i'm of the opinion that nearly all of the ones who lost deserved to lose. (where i work, the deadwood are cast off, not rewarded with obscene bonuses -- maybe that's why we're still holding our own.)
but on the other hand, there's been this revolving door between my employer and our competitor for years. i know more than a few of the people there because i used to work with them where i am now, and have been for the last nine-odd years. so, if that bankruptcy rumor is true, then i'm conflicted -- most of these people aren't deadwood, but people with brains and skills, so the possibility that they will lose their jobs anyway sits very poorly with me.
f&#k*@g republicans and their one-track "tax cuts" minds. i wish one of them would explain to me what good a tax cut is if you're unemployed...
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
skippy's wednesday nite music club
the turtles - happy together
toss this nut job in jail too
peanut co. owner refuses to testify to congress. peanut co. owner takes the fifth, e-mails show owner told workers to ship tainted products. - ap
put them both in jail
the wife of disgraced money manager bernard madoff withdrew more than $15 million from a firm co-owned by her husband -- including $10 million on the day their children turned her husband over to authorities for overseeing an alleged$50 billion ponzi scheme, the top securities regulator in massachusetts said wednesday.
...they also appeared to follow what authorities consider a disturbing trend on the part of the madoffs to hide money that could be used to reimburse burned investors- ap
we've got another answer for you, too
to which we would timidly respond, "away?"
who's watching the watchmen?
i've been unemployed since dec 19....
as a single parent with no income, nadya suleman could receive thousands of dollars a month in government aid. - latte times
why i don't share d. l. hughley's anger...
...now i listened to those tapes and i'm not going to hide my affinity for this guy. i never met him before but to me we have become such a trivial place that we will impeach a man for having sex, or lying about having sex with a woman. in california we will impeach a guy because he raises taxes on license plates because energy gets out of control. we'll impeach a guy for saying some things on tape. but a man can take us to war and lie and we won't do a damn thing about that. that makes me so mad...
if you happen to be reading this, mr. hughley, then answer me one question: what's the point in being mad anymore?
we are a trivial place. have been for a very long time. one of your fellow comedians, the late great george carlin, transformed his career for the better when he began trashing our sterile culture, our petty politics, and our collective stubborn brainlessness. ten years ago, i would laugh myself silly listening to his social critiques. these days, i think carlin wasn't trying to be funny in those moments. or, if he was, then my guess is he just plain didn't give a rat's ass anymore -- a somewhat accurate description of my present attitude.
part of the reason i didn't say jack about blago while all that melodrama was going on was because george awol bush was cruising in lame-duck mode to one sweet retirement arrangement, never to be held accountable for his own far more heinous and numerous crimes, at the time. (the fact that the bitchiest act of that melodrama took place after awol was history renders my present indifference unassailable, if you asked me -- but have fun trying to assail it, if you must.) and you know what, mr. hughley? i railed against awol for several years. couldn't stand the sound or the sight of him. wanted to see him impeached. wanted to see him ejected from office. hell, there were instances during his second term where i was so mental and drunk simultaneously, i'd find myself sporting my very own stimulus package just thinking about his smirking carcass getting waterboarded. so i can understand why you'd be angry.
but that anger isn't going to do you any good now. there was a time when it mattered. that time is gone. that battle is over, and you -- and i -- have lost. pick yourself up, continue surviving, and learn to let this loss go -- it'll devour you from the inside out if you don't. i know your anger is justified. but it's irrelevant now. the game's over. awol won.
and letting that bother you is not worth being devoured from the inside out.
Labels: it is what it is
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
skippy's tuesday nite music club
dixie hummingbirds - god's radar
old timie gospel the way it should be
even the uber wealthy
a federal bankruptcy judge says he will appoint an outside examiner to investigate the proposed sale of the yellowstone club, following accusations of collusion between the club's owner and its would-be buyer.
the millionaires-only club, now under chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, fell almost $400 million into debt last year after its former owner diverted hundreds of millions of dollars from the enterprise. - ap
times has certainly changed for the yellowstone club, an ultra-luxurious retreat for the wealthy including bill gates and dan quayle which was once to be the site of a single home to sell for $155 million. now it is more than $400 million in debt. - luxist
even this morning, as the floor debate neared completion, we continued to hear the same nonsense from opponents. sen. lamar alexander (r) of tennessee, for example, insisted, "this is a spending bill, not a stimulus bill." it's all quite tiresome.
nevertheless, the next phase -- a conference committee between house and senate negotiators -- should be nearly as contentious as this one. already, the same "centrists" who helped the bill overcome republican obstructionism are threatening to withdraw their support if anyone tries to change their version of the legislation.
of course, the market was reacting to tim geithner's bank bailout plan, and not the senate's stimulus plan, but at this point, you sell "potatoes," and we sell "po-tah-otes."