s skippy the bush kangaroo: December 2012

skippy the bush kangaroo

Monday, December 31, 2012

democratic presidents 80 years later

fdr gave us the new deal. obama gives us the bum deal. yippie! permanent bush tax cuts! we are going to fight the deficit by cutting taxes!


posted by George at 10:40 PM | 3 comments

auld lang syne

the 50 worst columns of 2012

2012 was officially hottest year on record

the top ten science stories of 2012

the 10 best queen songs
posted by skippy at 11:08 AM | 2 comments

Sunday, December 30, 2012

environmental news stories sunday

it's not the fiscal cliff we need to worry about....it's the ecological climate cliff that will really pooch us.
(reminder to the whiny congresscritters - you can't have a healthy economy if you don't have a healthy populace and healthy environment.)

threats to clean water today. the clean water act has had considerable success over 40 years, but now it faces challenges such as crumbling infrastructure, stormwater overflows, agricultural runoff and lack of enforcement. - living on earth

epa faces legal battles, might take easy confirmation road. regardless of who takes the reins, the u.s. environmental protection agency will likely face continued legal battles in president barack obama's second term as it tries to finalize pollution rules for power plants, analysts said -reuters

as biodiversity declines, tropical diseases thrive. a new paper is a reminder that ecology has a pretty big say in whether pathogens thrive or die off. using a statistical model, researchers predicted that countries that lose biodiversity will have a heavier burden of vector-borne and parasitic diseases - npr

why climate change matters in delaware. a no-name rainstorm that blew through delaware on thursday flooded 40 homes behind an 8-foot high seawall at bayview beach along the delaware river south of wilmington – causing more damage to the little hamlet than did superstorm sandy - wilmington news journal

greens confront own need for diversity. the republican party isn’t the only political force that has a diversity problem. environmental activists say their own movement needs to step up its game if it wants to play much bigger in washington - politico

wood-burning fireplaces may be causing significant health problems for central valley residents. there aren’t many scenes filled with more comfort or nostalgia than curling up on the sofa in front of a warm, crackling flame burning merrily away in a fireplace, especially if the weather is stormy. but that open wood-burning fire could be killing you - lodi news sentinel

extreme weather 101: climate change and precipitation. when it rains, it pours. that’s how we may want to think about the effects of climate change on precipitation - climate central

extreme weather 101: drought & our changing climate. drought has left huge swaths of the united states parched this year. are these dry conditions simply a fluke, or something we many need to get used to in a warming world? - climate central

officials worry that agriculture community will bear burden of water shortages. global warming and increased demand for water by urban and municipal users make shortages of the colorado river inevitable, according to a recently-released study by the bureau of reclamation and the seven colorado river basin states - imperial valley press

mississippi river water levels lowest in decades, threaten shipping. the drought that devastated crops throughout the midwest this summer has made the mighty mississippi dangerously narrow and shallow, threatening to choke off a vital transportation artery that carries billions of dollars of raw materials and commodities through the heart of the country - chicago tribune

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:14 PM | 0 comments

gop says to seniors

we love our uber wealthy handlers more, suckers!

fiscal cliff discussions break down after republicans demand social security cuts - daily kos

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:34 PM | 0 comments

The Cat Food Commission's Willing...

This is a shorter version of my AngryBear post. All you're missing is me blathering:

Jared Bernstein, Ph.D., Social Welfare:

I support the change [from CPI-W to Chained CPI]—it’s a more accurate measure of price growth (though a chained index for the elderly would be better)

Duncan Black, Ph.D., Economics:

If the true CPI-E increases faster than CPI, then chained-CPI is worse, not better.

A graphical analysis of the Bernstein claim:

Game, Set, and Match to the economist. No wonder the Obama Administration's first term was such a failure.
posted by Ken Houghton at 12:31 PM | 0 comments

sunday afternoon

9 great things that happened in 2012 that progressives can cheer about

5 biggest gop fails of 2012

sarah palin's worst moments of 2012

milk prices could double next year

posted by skippy at 12:12 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, December 29, 2012

a modest proposal

be sure to check out the 2012 jon swift memorial blog round up over at vagabond scholar.

batocchio does a bang-up job of continuing the work of our friend, the late, great jon swift.

long-time readers of this space know that jon, aka al weisel, was our partner and co-founder of our yearly salute to the children of the lesser blogs, aka blogroll amnesty day.

but now we must needs give kudos, including a laurel and hearty handshake, to batocchio, who revived and has been continuing jon/al's other salute to the denizens of blogtopia and yes, we coined that phrase, the annual blog round-up; best of the blogs from this year, as chosen by the bloggers themselves.

we urge you to go peruse the list, and the posts themselves; it's not only the best way to see the best of the best of the blogs, but to honor the memory of the best friend blogtopia ever had.
posted by skippy at 1:44 PM | 3 comments

saturday night fish fry

failure to prosecute bank fraud is what's really destroying the economy

the racist origins of the second amendment

fbi monitored occupy wall street, records show

5 cartoons about the fiscal cliff
posted by skippy at 4:13 AM | 2 comments

Friday, December 28, 2012

happy cat blogging friday

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:31 PM | 0 comments

friday at five

there are only three wwii veterans left in congress

rassmussen: alcohol perceived more dangerous than pot

banks want to roll back a nevada law that forces them to prove they own a property before they can foreclose on it

it sounds like a tv show: fbi: art theft division
posted by skippy at 10:37 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, December 27, 2012

thursday afternoon

gov. palin designed tax credit to pay for bristol's reality show

workers' rights must be strengthened nationwide

chritian college president really cranky about queer bloggers on campus

some choice quotes from the late robert bork
posted by skippy at 11:57 AM | 0 comments

deal or no deal

obama cuts short vacation to deal with the fiscal bluff because as any real estate agent will tell you it is the desperate party that gets the upper hand in a negotiation. oh, wait...


posted by George at 3:03 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 video of the year nominee

i think this was the best i saw all year: the original has over 1 billion views


posted by George at 11:55 AM | 0 comments

wednesday jam

7 facts about government benefits and who gets them

the nra has more blood on its hands than al qaeda

is this the most racist restaurant in america?

joe gandelman, over at the moderate voic, on the petition to deport piers morgan

posted by skippy at 7:44 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

long-time fans of this space may remember that in our early years, we would ask our dear readers for their favorite christmas songs around this time of year. then we would reveal which songs got the most votes. invariably, it was the pogues and kristy maccoll's fairy tale of new york.

never let it be said we are not keeping pace with the kids and their rock and their roll.

just to shake things up, we present

florence & the machine and billy bragg - fairy tale of new york

this one's for you, kristy, where ever you are on this christmas night...
posted by skippy at 7:14 PM | 0 comments

blazing django

posted by skippy at 7:05 PM | 0 comments

gung hay fat chanukkah

posted by skippy at 6:47 PM | 2 comments

good king wencenslas

understanding the hatred of the poor in america

when even santa claus can't get a job

we could end homelessness for what americans spend on christmas decorations

the first christmas in tweets

ppp poll finds 42% of americans think that santa is a democrat

and sad news for christmas: rip oscar madison and quincy, m.e., jack klugman

addemdum: even more sad news, veteran character actor (and veteran of wwii, where he won 3 purple hearts) charles during has also died
posted by skippy at 11:54 AM | 1 comments

happy xmas

war is over if you want it.

posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:00 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Only Modern Xmas Story

I re-posted this at AngryBear last year. It's still the only story that resonates for the season. Without further ado, Mark Evanier:

I arrived, headed for my favorite barbecue stand and, en route, noticed that Mel Tormé was seated at one of the tables.

Mel Tormé. My favorite singer. Just sitting there, sipping a cup of coffee, munching on an English Muffin, reading The New York Times. Mel Tormé.

I had never met Mel Tormé. Alas, I still haven't and now I never will. He looked like he was engrossed in the paper that day so I didn't stop and say, "Excuse me, I just wanted to tell you how much I've enjoyed all your records." I wish I had....

I waved the leader of the chorale over and directed his attention to Mr. Tormé, seated about twenty yards from me.

"That's Mel Tormé down there. Do you know who he is?"

The singer was about 25 so it didn't horrify me that he said, "No."

I asked, "Do you know 'The Christmas Song?'"

Again, a "No."

I said, "That's the one that starts, 'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...'"

"Oh, yes," the caroler chirped. "Is that what it's called? 'The Christmas Song?'

"That's the name," I explained. "And that man wrote it." The singer thanked me, returned to his group for a brief huddle...and then they strolled down towards Mel Tormé. I ditched the rest of my sandwich and followed, a few steps behind. As they reached their quarry, they began singing, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." directly to him.

A big smile formed on Mel Tormé's face — and it wasn't the only one around. Most of those sitting at nearby tables knew who he was and many seemed aware of the significance of singing that song to him. For those who didn't, there was a sudden flurry of whispers: "That's Mel Tormé...he wrote that..."

As the choir reached the last chorus or two of the song, Mel got to his feet and made a little gesture that meant, "Let me sing one chorus solo." The carolers — all still apparently unaware they were in the presence of one of the world's great singers — looked a bit uncomfortable. I'd bet at least a couple were thinking, "Oh, no...the little fat guy wants to sing."

But they stopped and the little fat guy started to sing...and, of course, out came this beautiful, melodic, perfectly-on-pitch voice. The look on the face of the singer I'd briefed was amazed at first...then properly impressed.

On Mr. Tormé's signal, they all joined in on the final lines: "Although it's been said, many times, many ways...Merry Christmas to you..." Big smiles all around.

And not just from them. I looked and at all the tables surrounding the impromptu performance, I saw huge grins of delight...which segued, as the song ended, into a huge burst of applause. The whole tune only lasted about two minutes but I doubt anyone who was there will ever forget it.

Go read the whole thing. The rest of us have to abide with this:

If you liked this, please consider joining me in donations to Oxfam America or Heifer in honor of others. Which will still deliver an e-card in time for anything today.
posted by Ken Houghton at 10:05 PM | 2 comments

'twas the night before christmas

more than you ever wanted to know about christmas

how christianity became a lucrative brand

discovery channel kicks ted nugent to the curb

it's the walking dead christmas special!!!
posted by skippy at 12:12 PM | 1 comments

menorah carey

this is borderline offensive...and we are not exactly sure which side of the border it comes down on...but we lofao'd

hot box comedy - all i want for christmas is jews
posted by skippy at 11:15 AM | 1 comments

i am confused by this

over the last 12 years as the aWol tax cuts were phased in to their peak the deficit got worse and worse and now the supposed remedy to the deficit is to make aWol's borrowing from social security to give tax cuts to rich people permanent? no wonder aWol's businesses went bankrupt with business sense like that.

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posted by George at 12:34 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, December 23, 2012

the true meaning of christmas

this was written in 1959, so...nothing's changed

a christmas carol - tom lehrer
posted by skippy at 5:00 PM | 0 comments

actors on actoring

from snl - you're a rat bastard, charlie brown
posted by skippy at 3:30 PM | 0 comments

merry christmas

i'm dreaming of a white christmas - clyde mcphatter & the drifters
posted by skippy at 2:43 PM | 1 comments

sugar on sunday

calculate your fiscal cliff tax bill

1 in 3 americans believe extreme weather is a sign of biblical end times

and, atheists suffer discrimination and persecution around the world

and be sure to bookmark the new address for avedon carol's the sideshow
posted by skippy at 11:59 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, December 22, 2012

happy holidays

happy holidays to all the friends of skippy.

now the usual angry rant.  this evening i saw a segment on cnn in which they asked someone at a shooting range what he thought of NRA spokesperson wayne lapierre's moronic remarks that america's school should be populated with people with guns so that, in case of an attack, there will be more bullets flying from multiple directions.  the gun nuts response was that he agreed because "the only way to fight fire is with fire."  that gun nut is unfamiliar with the more accepted methods of fighting fire with water or chemical extinguishers.

and, again, happy holidays.
posted by DBK at 7:03 PM | 2 comments

tea bagging trou dropping dana loesch

is suing the evil empire of pajamas breitbart to release her from her contract so she can work for other people.
conservative talk radio host and commentator dana loesch sued the owner of the conservative website breitbart.com friday, claiming that although her relationship with the news and opinion aggregating website had gone “tragically awry,” breibart.cοm llc refused to let her work for the company or anyone else, forcing her into “indentured servitude in limbo.” - st. louis dispatch
oh, but wait....doesn't she work for cnn now? and, doesn't she have a radio show?
seems to me that she is working for other people. maybe she needs money after her three month disappearing act from cnn after her "drop trou" remarks.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:44 PM | 1 comments

saturday night fever

mcdonalds server would have to work 550 years to earn ceo's salary

follow the money behind the newtown massacre

do armed civilians stop mass shootings? actually, no

wal-mart vs. the huffington post

posted by skippy at 9:27 AM | 3 comments

romney - price gouger in chief

just think of what his presidency would have cost the country. terrifying to think.
it is standard procedure for presidential campaigns to arrange and prepay for meals, bus travel, and charter flights, then bill the news outlets afterward for their share of the cost. in order to travel with the candidate, reporters and their editors must agree upfront to pay for the cost of the trips, as determined by the campaign. but many of the bills from the romney campaign — which have continued to trickle in since election day — are much higher than during other campaigns.

for example, on oct. 11, each reporter was charged $812 for a meal and a rented "holding" space, where the press waited before moving to the next event. on oct. 18, the bill for a similar set of expenses was $461. and on the night of the vice presidential debate, the campaign planned a "viewing party" for the reporters with romney, complete with a large rented room with a patio, massage tables, fresh cut flowers, and lots of food and booze. one campaign aide told buzzfeed that campaign officials' orders were to "go big" — a nice gesture, perhaps, but one that wasn't discussed with every media outlet.

the tab for the party: $745 per reporter. - buzzfeed

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:00 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 21, 2012

skippy's friday night music club

christmas is just around the corner. we love hearing people sing about it.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:00 PM | 0 comments


apparently now stands for "not responsible at all"  the slaughter in connecticut was everybody's else's doing, especially those "good for nothing, over paid union thugs" that most of america calls "teachers."

wapo - has the delusional remarks and video from nra exec vice-president, wayne lapierre. the words are just too hateful and delusional for me to feel comfortable to re-post here.

for shame, nra. for shame.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:01 PM | 1 comments

milk prices are going to go up, up, up

but not that congresscritters would ever know. i don't think they've stepped into a real grocery store in ages, let alone worked a farm.
lost in the political standoff between the obama administration and congressional republicans over the budget is a virtually forgotten impasse over a farm bill that covers billions of dollars in agriculture programs. without last-minute congressional action, the government would have to follow an antiquated 1949 farm law that would force washington to buy milk at wildly inflated prices, creating higher prices in the dairy case. milk now costs an average of $3.65 a gallon.

...the senate passed a farm bill in july. a house version of the bill made it out of committee, but house leaders have yet to bring its version to the floor.- nytimes
i have come to believe the gop enjoys watching people, not in d.c. or employed by major lobbyists, to suffer. they need to get over the fact that our president is black. the need to come to grips with the fact that their lousy candidate lost. and they need to do that before they take this country completely over the cliff - financially, socially or whatever way.

why do they hate america?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:46 PM | 2 comments

friday after next

the feds are in denial about marijuana

want to boycott the koch brothers while shopping? there's an app for that

5 wars more important than the war on christmas

the year's best media errors and corrections
posted by skippy at 10:51 AM | 0 comments

cat blogging friday

christmas version

iz long story.  jus pull, pleez.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:02 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, December 20, 2012

skippy's thursday night music club

yes...it's that time of year. christmas songs galore. here, at skippy international, we are no different in that regard. let the carols continue!

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:50 PM | 0 comments

thursday 11

the top 3% of small businesses are not job creators

great lakes levels low enough to reveal old shipwrecks

the mayans did not predict the apocalypse

pictures of snowflakes, right before they melt

posted by skippy at 1:33 PM | 2 comments

wsj lies about education: in which i name names

on december 6, 2012, the wall street journal published the following completely false article under stephanie banchero's byline:  students fall flat in vocabulary test. kevin drum wrote about banchero's distortions at the time, but banchero never corrected her article, which was absurdly backwards, whether because banchero deliberately lied or is ignorant I cannot say.

i commented in the wall street journal's comments section for that article at the time.  my comment is no longer on the site.  not only are the wall street journal and stephanie banchero not to be trusted, but they apparently remove comments that contradict their false hoods.  i have tried to locate an email or other address for the wall street journal's ombudsperson, but i haven't been able to find one.

update: found the wsj corrections address, so i wrote to that address.
posted by DBK at 10:52 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

skippy's wednesday night music club

yep. it's time for the christmas carols to be song.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:56 PM | 0 comments


land of shoot whoever you damn well want when you want then claim you were "standing your ground."
michael jock, a 52-year-old resident of st. petersburg, was standing in line behind 49-year-old randall white at a local little caesars on sunday when jock grew angry over white’s complaints about the speed of service. the two got began to shove one another, prompting jock to pull out a .38 taurus ultralight special revolver that had been concealed on his person and fire twice, hitting white both times in the lower torso. - think progress

sorry bryan, but the state that you live in is truly whackadoodle. 

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:44 PM | 1 comments

tweet of the day

Dear big-boned young men: in addition to everything else, you are now the meatshields for school shootings
— @jesseltaylor via Twitter

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:31 PM | 1 comments

wednesday girl

5 facts about america's pathological wealth distribution

how the war on drugs became a real war

right to work leads to poverty

did the right-wing film obama's america miss out on an oscar nomination because of liberal bias or because it was a really bad flick?

and tho we hated all 3 original films, we're digging the old navy "natlamp's vacation" commercials w/chevy chase, a very lovely beverly d'angelo, and lots of the actors who played the kids (including juliette lewis & anthony michael hall)!
posted by skippy at 1:22 PM | 0 comments

time's 2012 person of the year

president obama

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:27 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

why aren't these guys in jail

they lied. they cheated. they tanked economies. they cost societies gazillions of dollars. they wrecked lives.
and they get slapped with a fine and a plea to a single count of wire fraud. martha stewart served more time in jail than these banksters. oh, hell...paris hilton has spent more time in jail than these banksters.
ubs, the swiss banking giant, announced a record settlement with global authorities on wednesday, agreeing to a combined $1.5 billion in fines for its role in a multiyear scheme to manipulate interest rates.

in a sign that officials are increasingly taking a hard line against financial wrongdoing, the justice department also secured a guilty plea from the bank’s japanese subsidiary, sending a warning shot to other big banks suspected of rate rigging. the ubs subsidiary, which agreed to plead to a single count of wire fraud, is the first unit of a big bank to agree to criminal charges in more than a decade. - nytimes

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:52 PM | 1 comments

skippy's tuesday night music club

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:50 PM | 0 comments

call now! operators are standing by

president obama caves on social security to republicans in exchange for nothing. call the white house 202-456-1111 call your senators call your representative let the frigging bush tax cuts expire already!

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posted by George at 1:20 PM | 1 comments

barely out of tuesday

fox news viewers have lower iq's

80% of antibiotics in this country are given to meat animals

worried republicans are stocking up on gold coins

and rip hawaiian senator daniel inouye
posted by skippy at 8:35 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 17, 2012

we should all cry for our country...our society

those kids weren't killed.
they were slaughtered.

do we want to live in a country that allows continued slaughter of our citizens?

i don't have children. i can't pretend that i know the grief the parents are going through. i just want to make sure that no more parents have to grieve.

i also can't believe the level of racist hate exists in this country shown when monday night football was pre-empted.

this stirring up the hate pot has got to stop. this telling of blatant lies has got to stop.
the killing has got to stop.


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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

skippy's monday night music club

have you forgotten about the song written about another american schoolyard slaughter?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

pro-murder dead-enders

the dead-enders are out in force.  "waaaah! second amendment."  "waaaah!  politicizing tragedy!"  "waaaah!  the teachers should have all been armed!"  anything to change the subject and avoid responsibility for their part in murdering children.

the debate is over.  it ended the moment twenty 6 and 7 year old children died in a classroom in newton, connecticut.  the next time someone tries to argue for their "gun rights", let them to go to the graves of those twenty children and tell it to those kids.  if those children climb out of the ground to march on washington in support of "gun rights", the "gun rights" argument has merit.  if those children remain in the ground, the "gun rights" argument is dead too.
posted by DBK at 12:38 PM | 2 comments

moody monday

list of federal politicians on the nra payroll

of the 61 shootings since 1980 not one gunman was stopped by a civilian with a gun

36 reasons you should thank a union

wall st journal: fiscal cliff not so steep

posted by skippy at 10:35 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, December 16, 2012

springtime on sunday

ny dem rep: the nra is an enabler of mass murder

water found on mercury

the war on women rages on

10 characters whose genders were swapped in production
posted by skippy at 1:43 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, December 15, 2012

saturday night divas

there have been 15 mass shooting w/84 dead in the us in 2012

and here's a list of the deadliest shootings in u.s. history

does the nra represenrt gun owners or gun manufacturers?

artist satirizes nypd, gets arrested
posted by skippy at 12:37 PM | 1 comments

Friday, December 14, 2012

demand a plan

the right will tell you that now is not the time to discuss gun regulations.

if 4 or 5 nuclear reactors melted down in the period of 3 months, killing dozens of people, would they say "now is not the time to discuss nuclear regulation"?

if a brand of automobiles began exploding for no reason, killing several families in a space of a few weeks, would they say "now is not the time to examine this brand of automobile"?

if 20 children died from tainted peanut butter, would they say "now is not the time to regulate peanut butter"?

now is the time.

sign the petition
posted by skippy at 5:06 PM | 2 comments

Making It Personal

Almost every time we make the trip from Joisey to the Boston area, where Shira went to college, we spot at the Blue Colony diner in one direction, the other, or both.

We're not the only ones. Before the first time Lance Mannion and I met in person, we had both been there on the same day.

The Blue Colony is in Newtown, CT. We've probably met or sat near the parents and grandparents who have had their day interrupted for All the Wrong Reasons today.

May Bryan Fischer burn in Hell.
posted by Ken Houghton at 11:06 AM | 0 comments

kangaroo blogging friday

belly rub version

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:02 AM | 0 comments

maryjane--will the feds lighten up now?

yes, colorado and washington passed laws legalizing recreational use of marijuana, so why is the federal government not getting with the program, especially when the president himself admits he used to smoke a doob now and then?  at a party last week, i asked my peers how many of them had ever tried marijuana.  every single person there answered in the affirmative, and every one admitted that at least one of their parents had tried it.   the party attendees were all in their mid-fifties to mid-sixties, and most of our parents who tried it had served in or been alive during world war ii, so it isn't like our folks were flower children.  what's the hubbub?

the hubbub has not been politics, i believe, but simply that the united states is a signatory to the single convention on narcotic drugs of 1961, an international treaty.  the feds can't legally support marijuana legalization without withdrawing from that treaty, which isn't a simple thing at all.  still, you can have laws that you don't enforce.  that would be the simplest way to get around the treaty.

this morning i was pleased to read that president obama says prosecution of 420-friendly citizens in colorado and washington will not be a priority.  finally some sense is coming to the federal position on marijuana.  the fact is, prosecution of marijuana user has been more frequent under the obama administration than under the bush administration.  i still blame bush, of course, because a)he was the worst president ever and b) the federal prosecutors who have been busting dispensaries in california, for instance, were bush appointees.  here's hoping they pay attention to the president's priorities.
posted by DBK at 8:00 AM | 1 comments

best bond movie ever

finally saw skyfall last night.  best bond movie ever.  i credit javier bardem for that.  movies like this are entirely dependent on their bad guys.  if the bad guy role is good, the movie is good.  if the bad guy role is not good, the movie is not good.  the rocky movie with mr t was good because mr t was good.  the rocky movie with rutger hauer was crappy because rutger hauer and brigitte nielsen were crappy.

javier bardem was phenomenal as the bad guy in skyfall.

 this was the first time i saw a movie in an imax theater.  i was deeply unimpressed.  also, this may have been the last movie i watched in a theater.  although i remembered to bring my ear plugs, it is still annoying to have to wear them.  noise induced hearing loss is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, and if you have been in a movie theater in the past x years, you know that the noise level is damaging.  i've experienced the same problem in sports arenas where the crowd noise is fine, but the sound system is absurdly loud.

UPDATE:  the same day i wrote and posted this, 20 six and seven year old children and six adults were murdered by automatic weapons fire in newton, ct.  i have thought a lot about this movie review the past few days.  i felt awful because i enjoyed a movie that was so steeped in violence, much it via automatic weapons. i have asked myself if violent films somehow contributed to the lack of empathy that mass murderers feel or perhaps, at least, to the insensitivity and cruelty of the pro-murder crowd that so loves its automatic weapons.  i don't know the answer to anything, but i do think i need to warn people, unnecessary as it may be, that skyfall is a very violent movie and people are shot and killed casually and graphically.  i don't know if i can watch that movie again and, while i am certainly a non-violent person, i don't know when i will be able to watch another violent program.  this last mass murder feels different than the others.  20 six and seven year old children.  that should mean something to everyone.
posted by DBK at 7:26 AM | 0 comments

freaky friday baby one more time

failed republican policies are responsible for a decade of american economic woes

are social networks good for your health?

wall street bank cuts 11,000 jobs after paying millions to ousted execs

meditation changes the way your brain proceses emotions
posted by skippy at 7:03 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, December 13, 2012

this thursday

tax the traders!

what's really driving our interest in celebrity pregnancies?

10 outrageous tactics the cops can get away with

first ladies-in-waiting
posted by skippy at 12:40 PM | 1 comments

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

skippy's wednesday night music club

a little holiday music teaser from local boys, big bad voodoo daddy

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

wednesday evenin' blues

in 35 years, the kennedy center has only honored one hispanic...chita rivera

how the middle class wealth collapsed to a 40 year low

anti-obama food chains pay big price for nasty attitude

real life snakes on the plane

and rip sitar maestro ravi shankar
posted by skippy at 12:13 PM | 3 comments

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

skippy's tuesday night music club

ok, michigan workers...let's fight!

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:58 PM | 0 comments

united states of alec

and we aren't talking about the baldwin brother. gov. liar liar pants on fire snyder and the gop michigan legislature took their walking and legislating orders from the uber lobbyist firm, alec, when they started the state's destruction of the middle class.
amidst massive pro-labor protests, michigan gov. rick snyder has signed sweeping legislation attacking private and public sector unions, just hours after passing the lame-duck legislature. the operative language in the bills is nearly identical to the american legislative exchange council's "model" right to work act. - pr watch

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:48 PM | 0 comments

when you're a tuesday girl

obamacare has saved seniors 5 billion dollars

why powerball is a terrible way for states to raise money

the latest victims in mortgage modification diffulties: widows

today's gop is incapable of beating hillary clinton for prez in 2016, sez newt gingrich

posted by skippy at 12:53 PM | 0 comments

Monday, December 10, 2012

monday's rain

koch brothers: it's only a flesh wound

corporate profits hit record high while worker wages hit record low

the slimy world of james o'keefe

workers unpacking frozen meat discover a gun and ammo inside the box of ribs
posted by skippy at 10:23 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, December 09, 2012

big medias power play

bill moyers and senator bernie sanders talk about the dangers of "bigger" media control.
in 1983, 50 corporations controlled a majority of american media. now that number is six. and big media may get even bigger, thanks to the fccs consideration of ending a rule preventing companies from owning a newspaper and radio and tv stations in the same city. such a move — which they’ve tried in 2003 and 2007 as well –would give these massive media companies free rein to devour more of the competition, control the public message, and also limit diversity across the media landscape. bernie sanders, one of several senators who have written fcc chairman julius genachowski asking him to suspend the plan, discusses with bill why big media is a threat to democracy, and what citizens can do to fight back. - bill moyers

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:01 PM | 0 comments

some sunday morning

should we extend the payroll tax break?

livestock falling ill near fracking regions

open enrollment at work: which health insurance plan is right for you?

one quarter of republicans want to secede
posted by skippy at 5:22 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, December 08, 2012

skippy's saturday night music club

8 december 1980.

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

Dear Brad, Don't Be an Idiot; or Never Trust an Economist to Believe Democracy is a Good Idea

I have to teach my daughters about energy conservation as they begin eight days of getting practical presents. In honor of that:

Phrases such as "just war," "proportionate response," and "Mutually-Assured Destruction," in the best of times, make people feel better about killing people. Apparently Walter Russell Mead really is not one of those. He discusses at length:
Theoreticians of “just war” say that in order for war to be justifiable, two tests must be met. You have to have a legitimate cause for war (self defense, for example, rather than grabbing land from a weaker neighbor) and you must fight the war in the right way. You must fight fair (that is, fight a just war), and you must fight nice.
One of the criteria for jus in bello (fighting nice as opposed to jus ad bellum which is about whether it is just ) is proportionality....

[lengthy bucketing of shades of 'just war' omitted]

[M]ore moderate critics of Israel (including many Israelis) focus on jus in bello, and in particular they look at the question of proportionality. When the Palestinians flick a handful of fairly crude rockets at random across Israel, these critics say, Israel has a right to a kind of pinprick response: tit for tat. But it isn’t entitled to bring the full power of its industrial grade air force and its mighty ground forces into an operation designed to crush Hamas at the cost of hundreds of civilian casualties. You can’t fight slingshots with tanks.

For many people around the world, this seems patently obvious: Israel has a right to respond to attacks from Hamas but it doesn't have an unlimited right to respond to limited attacks with unlimited force. Israeli blindness to this obvious moral principle strikes many observers as evidence of hardheartedness and national moral decline, and colors their perceptions of many other Israeli policies.
Mead then goes on to discuss that Americans aren't even that sensible, even noting that the preferred "Jacksoninan" American response "is the same logic by which...Osama bin Laden...could justify his attacks on civilians at the World Trade Center [or] indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilian targets." (Mead perpetually confuses Hamas with Islamic Jihad; instead of correct him, I omit his errors.)

What happens to this when it gets into the hands of Someone Who (Especially Since He's an Economic Historian) Should Know Better:
Ariel Sharon withdrew from Gaza as a dry-run for withdrawal from the West Bank…

And Gaza was taken over by crazies who want to destroy Israel and launch rockets over the border to try to kill civilians whenever they can.
There are not more errors than words in those two sentences, but that's only because there are a lot of words. But let's just look at the framing: Gaza was run by a party that attempted to work with the Israeli government that was "withdrawing" for years. During that time, life got noticeably worse for the people.

So they voted the bastards out, and they voted Hamas in.

And everyone pretended to be surprised that collaborators who gained nothing for their constituents were replaced by an electorate whose life was getting worse. And they said, "Go abuse them," so the Israel "security forces" have killed 213 people just at the border fence between Gaza and Israel itself.

But those aren't casualties of a declared war, even if "154 who were not taking part in hostilities, 17 of them children." so Brad pretends that Sharon "withdrew" and that Gaza was "taken over."

Of the "crazies" comment, I can't say it better than This is Not Jewish:
Don’t demand that Jews publicly repudiate the actions of settlers and extremists. People who make this demand are assuming that Jews are terrible people or undeserving of being heard out unless they “prove” themselves acceptable by non-Jews’ standards. (It’s not okay to demand Palestinians publicly repudiate the actions of Hamas in order to be accepted/trusted, either.)
But that is what Brad would have us do, even as ronan in comments points out the truth of Sharon's "withdrawal":
Yeah, Sharon was gonna bulldoze all the settlements and hundreds of thousands of Israelis were gonna walk hand in hand singing kumbaya to their new lives in small, overpriced Tel Aviv flats.
Moving your soldiers from pointing guns in their territory at people to pointing guns at people who try to move from one part of your state to another isn't withdrawal; it's ghettoization at best, or, more likely, apartheid. Under no condition is it a sign of democracy.

But democracy, apparently, is not something Sensible Economists believe in.
posted by Ken Houghton at 2:01 PM | 0 comments

saturday night bop

meet the climate denial machine

obama "voter fraud" examined in detail

20 reasons to support unions

the deficit did not cause the recession; the recession caused the deficit
posted by skippy at 11:52 AM | 1 comments

to kill the educational mockingbird

apparently, in an effort to turn our populace into non-questioning work machines, our educational system is taking out creativity and humanity out of the curriculum.
american literature classics are to be replaced by insulation manuals and plant inventories in us classrooms by 2014

a new school curriculum which will affect 46 out of 50 states will make it compulsory for at least 70 per cent of books studied to be non-fiction, in an effort to ready pupils for the workplace - the telegraph

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:30 AM | 1 comments

Friday, December 07, 2012

skippy's friday night music club

jeff daniels, a michigander, sings a bit o' the blues...

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:54 PM | 0 comments

go lions!


nfl players union opposes michigan's right to work push.
george atallah, the association’s assistant executive director for external affairs, told thinkprogress in a phone interview. “our leadership and players are always proud to stand with workers in michigan and everywhere else. we don’t think voters chose this, and we don’t think workers deserve this.” - think progress

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:44 PM | 0 comments

less than zero dark thirty

brett easton ellis, best known for writing the book american psycho (and not much else), took to twitter to put down director kathryn bigelow. zap2it:

bret easton ellis, who made headlines earlier this year for his matt bomer twitter tirade and defending paris hilton's anti-gay remarks, proved wednesday that he's an equal opportunity offender. the author, best known for "american psycho," slams "zero dark thirty" director, kathryn bigelow, this time.

"kathryn bigelow would be considered a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she's a very hot woman she's really overrated," posts the writer of lindsay lohan's "the canyons."
kathryn would be considered mildy interesting if she was a man, but since she's a hot woman she's really overrated? funny that's just what we thought about brett easton ellis!

posted by skippy at 7:06 PM | 0 comments

december 7, 1941

a nation remembers

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 4:15 PM | 0 comments

freaky friday

the fiscal cliff: made in the gop

how iceland recovered from the recession so quickly

the cost of tax cuts for the wealthiest americans since 2001

lost, anyone? island shown on maps and on google earth does not exist
posted by skippy at 4:26 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, December 06, 2012

psy vs. ray parker, jr - gangnam busters

ghostbusters gangnam style...perfect synchronicity
posted by skippy at 6:58 PM | 2 comments

this ordinary thursday

why legal pot is the future

the internal polls that made romney think he'd win

the u.s. is no longer one of the best countries to be born in

readers of 1936 predict which authors will endure

and rip jazz great dave brubeck

posted by skippy at 12:15 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

skippy's wednesday night music club

r.i.p. dave brubeck. thanks for amazing music.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:19 PM | 0 comments

happy zappadan!

as zappadan lasts for 18 days (starting yesterday), we symbolically present billy the mountain in its entirety, which seems like it lasts 19 days.

wanna get some clams?
posted by skippy at 2:46 PM | 2 comments

wednesday car

dick armey resigns from freedom works

wal-mart, sears and a mass grave in bangladesh

how the obama whitehouse won the hashtag wars

don't listen to wall street - taxing the rich would be good for the economy
posted by skippy at 11:30 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

happy national cookie day

unleash your inner cookie monsters today!

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:00 PM | 0 comments

disabled gop commentator charles krauthammer

wonder how he feels knowing the current crop of gop could really care less about the rights of the disabled.

the senate has failed to ratify an international treaty intended to protect the rights of those with disabilities, as a bloc of conservatives opposed the treaty believing it could interfere with u.s. law. - wapo

originally signed by then-president george w. bush in 2006 and re-signed by president barack obama in 2009 shortly after he took office, the treaty has been championed by former sen. bob dole (r-ks), the one-time gop presidential nominee who suffered a disability while serving in the army in world war II. dole was on the senate floor tuesday ahead of the ratification vote, in a wheelchair, accompanied by his wife, former sen. elizabeth dole (r-nc). - talking points memo

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:02 PM | 7 comments

december 4. national cookie day

now...this is a holiday i can really sink my teeth into.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 AM | 0 comments

tuesday's waiting

teacher reprimanded after writing "you can't be a democrat and go to heaven" on blackboard

jim crow's drug war

did the republicans deliberately crash the us economy?

phones at dinner? try the phone stack game
posted by skippy at 6:32 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 03, 2012

skippy's monday night music club

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

obama is an awful socialist pinko commie

corporations are going gang busters while the comrade workers are falling behind.
corporations are currently making more as a percentage of the economy than they ever have since such records were kept. but at the same time, wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low - think progress
but you probably won't hear that on the faux newsbubble.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:18 PM | 0 comments

monday sweetheart

countries that use more high fructose corn syrup have more diabetes

with the death of larry hagman, the solar industryloses one of tis biggest advocates

losing republican senatorial candidate areested for domestic assault

20% of all military deaths last year were suicides
posted by skippy at 10:01 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, December 02, 2012

environmental news stories sunday

for those little pesky stories you probably didn't hear on the talking bobble head shows this morning. and, isn't amazing that with all this talk about saddling an anemic economy and financial burden on our kids and grandkids, not one politician stood up and asked what type of environment we wanted to leave our heirs.

sad, really.

fern lake fire doubles in size overnight to more than 3,500 acres. the fern lake fire, burning in rocky mountain national park since oct. 9, more than doubled in size overnight friday, forcing the evacuation of 583 homes early saturday - denver post

renewable energy laws in cross-hairs of conservative groups. renewable energy advocates made an unsuccessful push last year to expand missouri’s green power law and help lessen the state’s dependence on fossil fuels - st. louis post dispatch

sweden: the land of the rising coastline. in contrast to worries from the maldives to manhattan of storm surges and higher ocean levels caused by climate change, the entire northern part of the nordic region is rising and, as a result, the baltic sea is receding. - reuters

anti-fracking activists drill home message with parliament protests. anti-fracking activists plan to erect a mock drilling rig outside the houses of parliament as part of a series of protests on saturday against the controversial technique to extract shale gas. - the guardian

dept. of justice mysteriously quits monsanto antritrust investigation. the doj ended the investigation into possible anticompetitive practices by monsanto in the u.s. seed market without taking any action—and did so with a near-complete lack of public information. the doj didn't even see fit to mark the investigation's end with a press release - mother jones

megastorms could drown massive portions of california. portions of california's central valley have dropped 30 feet in elevation because of extensive groundwater pumping, making those areas even more prone to flooding. huge flows of vapor in the atmosphere, dubbed "atmospheric rivers," have unleashed massive floods every 200 years, and climate change could bring more of them - scientific american

uk may give frackers tax breaks. days after refusing to commit to a target for reduction of carbon emissions, chancellor of the exchequer for the united kingdom, george osborne, is expected to announce tax breaks for shale gas companies - wired

clean-up chemical made bp deepwater horizon oil spill 52 times more toxic - treehugger

medications, pesticides still seep into river. medications, pesticides and hormones are emptying into the st. lawrence river from montreal’s water-treatment plant, but a new disinfection system that would remove significant amounts of those substances won’t be up and running until 2015 - montreal gazette

epa tells judge it will impose stricter water pollution standards on florida. fourteen years after the federal government acknowledged that florida had a serious water pollution problem, the u.s. environmental protection agency on friday agreed to impose new pollution rules to clean up the state's algae-choked waterways — but it may have created a new mess - tampa bay times

pharmaceuticals difficult to treat in drinking water. the emerging threat of pharmaceuticals, everyday chemicals and personal care products in drinking water may be the most difficult that water treatment plants have faced - great lake echo

bottled water on thanksgiving menu in tainted california region. jessica sanchez couldn't use the tap water for cooking Thanksgiving dinner because east orosi, calif., is one of many central valley farm communities where the supply is tainted – by nitrates, arsenic or bacteria traced to decades of agricultural runoff. - latimes

did you save some turkey fat? other oils? some people are aware that our thanksgiving effluent has potential as biofuel. and as it turns out, several cities across the united states are running public or privately run fat, oil, and grease recycling drives. - latimes

fracked beef: it's what's for dinner? while many communities investigate what we drink and breathe for answers, one new report from the nation and the food & environment reporting network highlights a key yet overlooked complication – fracking chemicals could affect our food - mother jones

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:15 PM | 1 comments

it's the holiday season

time to get your schweddy balls fix.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:40 PM | 0 comments

six ways to sunday

fans of the second amendment, try the blog of accidental gun discharges

out of every 100 rapes only 3 rapists will spend a day in jail

unbrealable wwii code found on a long-dead pigeon

all we are saying is give pot a chance
posted by skippy at 11:54 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, December 01, 2012

posted by skippy at 9:48 PM | 0 comments

saturday night beneath the plastic palm trees

gun sales soar after obama's re-election

raising retail wages would boost the economy

in some british asian communities its more acceptable to be possesed than have a mental illness

7 reasons climate change is even worse than we thought it was
posted by skippy at 11:55 AM | 0 comments

if the one percent pays their fair share

in taxes...hey, maybe we can invest in our infrastructure.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:51 AM | 0 comments