s skippy the bush kangaroo: January 2013

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, January 31, 2013

skippy's thursday night music club

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

blogroll amnesty day! les miserables version!

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it's coming this weekend! join us!
posted by skippy at 8:08 PM | 0 comments

another late thursday

catholic leaders challenge pro-life politicians to oppose gun violence, not just abortion

suing over grades

more americans have been killed in gun deaths than by terrorists

and rip the last surviving andrews sister, patty andrews

posted by skippy at 7:50 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

skippy's wednesday night music club

congrats mr. nabors!


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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:07 PM | 0 comments


congrats mr. nabors! (robbing the cradle even!) you go, boy!
jim nabors, the hawaii resident well known for his starring role in the 1960s television sitcom "gomer pyle, usmc," married his longtime male partner early this month, he told hawaii news now tuesday. nabors, 82, said he married his companion of 38 years, stan cadwallader, who's 64, in seattle on jan. 15.- hawaii news now

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:57 PM | 2 comments

blogroll amnesty day is coming!!

forewarned is forearmed!

so if you want four arms, rest assured that blogroll amnesty day is happening this weekend!

if you put up a post celebrating b.a.d. and smaller blogs, be sure to email skippy with a link, and we'll celebrate you as well!
posted by skippy at 6:56 PM | 1 comments

wednesday morning 3 am

all 100 senators are now on twitter

why replacing state income tax with bigger sales tax is a bad idea

turn up the bass to scare birds away from planes

10 places to see before they're gone

posted by skippy at 12:21 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

skippy's tuesday night music club

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

just something curious i noticed

watch this 19 minute talk by pamela meyer at ted.com regarding spotting deception.  then watch the answer to the question about whether her probably murdered boyfriend was cheating on her in this interview with mindy mccready.  at around 2 minutes 19 seconds into it, notice how she begins her denial that he was cheating by nodding her head yes?  and notice the elaborate nature of her denial, which seems much like clinton's denial that he was messing around with lewinsky.  i have no idea if she shot the guy, but my read is that she believes he was cheating on her.

i don't care about mccready or her boyfriend.  i'd never heard of her or him before i saw that article.  i watched the video because i had seen the meyer talk and wanted to test my lie spotting skills.  i think i did pretty well.  i have more opinions, but i am curious what others think if they watch both videos.  the meyer talk is worth watching regardless.
posted by DBK at 12:46 PM | 8 comments

Going Full Circle from Economics to Sports and Back

One of the ways Paul Krugman figured out that there just might be a Stock Market Bubble in the late 1990s was an obvious one--the bars and restaurants that generally show Sports programming even in the middle of the afternoon had switched to Bloomberg or CNBC (described, rather accurately, as the merger of NBC with the letter "C.").

Now, a decade later, Bloomberg Television and Radio are making a heavy pitch to be the broadcasters of the Brooklyn Nets.

Sports Bubble, anyone?  Arsène Wegner may have had bad timing (not to mention a poor view of history and possibly talent), but when a financial network decides that investing in sports will not dilute its brand, the only reasonable answers are fungibility or bubble.

Maybe Atrios's "dog track" mantra is more accurate than anyone cares to admit.
posted by Ken Houghton at 12:07 PM | 0 comments

drunk on a tuesday

rand paul blocks treaties that would help find tax cheats

creationist attacks 17-year-old for brainwashing our youth with science

corporate profits soar under obama

pinball is alive and well in (some parts of) new york city
posted by skippy at 5:15 AM | 0 comments

Monday, January 28, 2013

skippy's monday night music club

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

permanent monday

economic inequality is preventing a recovery

the geometry of gun murder

how the food industry is enabling the
obesity epidemic

a gun kept in the home is 43 times more likely to kill than to be used in self-defense a household member
posted by skippy at 10:15 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, January 27, 2013

skippy's sunday night music club

it's late. it's time to go to sleep.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

environmental news stories sunday

for those little pesky stories that you probably didn't hear bandied about on the talking head shows this morning. and, since last weekend i was up in baghdad-by-the-bay for the fancy food trade show, a few "foodie" type stories with an environmental or health bent are tossed in for your pleasure...or horror.

pepsico will halt use of additive in gatorade. the ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, which was used in citrus versions of the sports drink to prevent the flavorings from separating, was the object of a petition started on change.org by sarah kavanaugh, a 15-year-old from hattiesburg, miss., who became concerned about the ingredient after reading about it online - nytimes
genetically modified food technology is mystery to some, a worry for others. what bothers barbara thompson, of collingswood, nj, most is the government's decision that genetically engineered food does not need extensive testing. she wonders if it has anything to do with the increasing rates of food allergies, some cancers and other health problems - cherry hill courier post

carcinogen may have entered human food chain in horsemeat, claims labour. a potentially carcinogenic drug may have entered the human food chain through meat from horses slaughtered in the uk. shadow environment secretary mary creagh told the commons she had evidence that several horses slaughtered in the uk last year tested positive for phenylbutazone. - the guardian

greens hit out at milk contamination. the green party says new zealand should focus on true sustainability in farming rather than setting acceptable levels of chemical residues in milk and food. - new zealand herald

air trap: inversions can spell hell for many in the grand junction area of colorado. since jan. 18, air quality in low-lying areas of grand junction has been worse than denver’s. the amount of fine particulates trapped above the valley are more concentrated here than in any other city in colorado - grand junction daily sentinel

tide of plastic devastates marine food chain. marine life in one of ­scotland’s biggest estuaries has been found to be riddled with pollution caused by ­plastic ­despite attempts to cut down on the amount entering coastal waters. - edinburgh scotsman

global mercury treaty could make local fish safer. it didn’t make many headlines at the time, but delegates from 140 nations earlier this month quietly signed the first-ever global treaty to reduce mercury emissions, a move that could help make Northland fish safer to eat. - duluth news tribune

oil and gas companies pour money into research universities. as many universities face state-funding declines, shell, bp and others have recently poured millions of dollars into colorado state university's research. but given the nation's current oil and gas frenzy, the energy money is raising questions about academic integrity. - high country news

ferocious winter storm set to explode in north atlantic: bombogenesis. some of the most powerful storms on earth form in the north atlantic ocean during wintertime. For the past few days, the meteorologists at the ocean prediction center (opc) in college park, md. been highlighting a treacherous storm event that is taking place in the open ocean, to the south of iceland. - climate central

can two dedicated congressmen make their colleagues care about climate? rep. henry waxman (d-calif.) and sen. sheldon whitehouse (d-ri) announced on thursday that they are forming a joint house-senate climate change task force. the effort will be "dedicated to focusing congressional and public attention on climate change and developing effective policy responses." - mother jones

gretchen bleiler on climate change: do sweat the small stuff. for snowboarder gretchen bleiler, being environmentally conscious is about doing the small things in her daily life. if everyone decided to drink out of reusable water bottles or chose to recycle, it could be enough to deter the long-term impacts of global warming, the olympic medalist said. - aspen daily news

dubious awards presented at davos. only a stone’s throw from the davos world economic forum meeting, a group of non-governmental organisations presented the annual public eye awards this week to goldman sachs and royal dutch shell - inter press service

northeast organic farm association of new york discusses genetically modified organisms at conference. hansen has been working on getting the ge food bill, requiring manufacturers to label gmos through legislation for the last 27 years. he recently put the final touches on prop 37 and hopes it will pick up a sponsor in the california legislature this season - troy record

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:15 PM | 0 comments

sunday afternoon

why putting research behind a paywall is immoral

are you making these 4 credit card mistakes?

west point study on the 'violent right' finds 'dramtic increase' in attacks


posted by skippy at 12:25 PM | 1 comments

Saturday, January 26, 2013

saturday night out

the right's dangerously bad history

last year the rich got $17 trillion richer

dangerous cult similarities in the mormon church, the branch davidians and jonestown

michael dorn is developing a worf spin-off

posted by skippy at 12:15 PM | 0 comments

Friday, January 25, 2013

friday night

the top 15 anti-gay activists who were caught being gay

it'stime to impeach george w. bushretroactively

gop women: "we like sex too!"

posted by skippy at 9:52 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Twelve the Hard Way (NSFW)

Don’t let us get sick
Don’t let us get old
Don’t let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
Make us play nice
And let us be together tonight.
It's not just that  I'd give my eye teeth to have written "Accidentally Like a Martyr" or just the second verse and the descant of "Empty-Handed Heart," or my eyes and teeth for "Ourselves to Know" or the above-quoted "Don't Let Us Get Sick" or the greatest song about Elvis ever written, "Porcelain Monkey," (And those last three are all from the same album.  Geez!)

And it's not the funny stuff: the live-in-LA recording of "Werewolves of London" or "Bill Lee" or "Even a Dog Can Shake Hands" (which became the theme song for Action) and especially the song with the title they didn't print on the back of the CD, "My Shit's Fucked Up." Or that the best* thing Mitch Albom has ever written happens to be "Hit Me (The Hockey Song)."  Or the great reference in season two of Californication:
Warren Zevon could sit down and talk twelve-tone theory with, uh, Stravinsky. Half the cockbags who come through here barely play their fuckin' instruments.
Today would have been his 66th. So let's take this clip, which I remember (or maybe misremember) as the final episode ever of a short-lived television talk show featuring a possibly-recognizable Nice Jewish Boy from New Jersey:

"Requiescat in pace, that's all she wrote"

*Some might say "only good," but we are above such calumny.
posted by Ken Houghton at 6:30 PM | 1 comments

thursday's child

does torture work?

the nra-backed dems who oppose obama's gun safety plan

what is kniwn - and not known - about your flu medicine

are young evangelicals sick of the culture war?
posted by skippy at 12:30 PM | 1 comments

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

skippy's wednesday night music club

yeah....back from san francisco's fancy food trade show. there's only one thing still on my mind.


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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

good for him

now this is a nice heartwarming story to end the day with.
 waiter praised ror refusing to serve family who insults child with down syndrome - consumerist

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:13 PM | 0 comments

one casualty in the wall street fiasco

and, no, it's not a bankster.
less than 24 hours after his appearance on pbs’ frontline, where he struggled to explain why his office had brought not one single indictment against a high-level wall street executive related to the 2008 financial crisis, assistant attorney general lanny breuer has reportedly decided to step down.- consumerist

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:53 PM | 1 comments

amazing thing to see: dolphin rescued by diver

here's video of a dolphin that actually approached a diver for help.  the diver released the dolphin from the fishing hook and line in which it was tangled.  it's pretty remarkable.
posted by DBK at 8:12 PM | 2 comments

wednesday morning

only 6% of scientists identify themselves as republicans

notre dame hired a private investigator for the manti te'o imaginary girlfriend case -- but not the lizzy seeberg rape

20% of americans don't believe in god -- so why is congress so religious??

house gop leader blames gun violence on welfare moms

posted by skippy at 12:15 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

cold shower tuesdays

the five step process to screw the middle class

wal-mart plans to hire any veteran that wants a job

outrage without action is just whining

kitty cat outperforms investment brokers picking stocks
posted by skippy at 11:45 AM | 0 comments

Monday, January 21, 2013

That Time of Year Again

I end up posting this, I believe, every year. And every year, despite not trying at all, I find a newer and better reason to post it.

This year, it's because cities in Virginia, including Harrisonburg City, have their students in school today—a Federal holiday—but made damned certain the kids were out on Friday for [Robert E.]Lee-[Stonewall]Jackson Day.

If Barack Obama deserves to reign in Hell over one thing alone, it is because he took locally-popular Democrats like Kathleen "I'm incompetent, so I will overrule the scientists" Sibelius and Janet Napolitano and moved them to DC, weakening the strength of his own Party and (worse) having those Governors replaced by people who make life worse for his constituents in Sam Brownback and Jan Brewer.

Jan Brewer probably isn't as bad as Evan Meacham, but that's the best anyone has said. Bob McDonnell at least proclaimed today Martin Luther King, Jr., Day,* even if the kids don't get it off, the way they do for real heroes of his state.

*It would be petty of me to note that McDonnell's proclamation conspicuously leaves the "Dr." off the front of Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. I guess a Ph.D. from Boston University isn't worth all that much.

cross-posted from AngryBear

posted by Ken Houghton at 8:29 PM | 1 comments

abraham, martin and john

dr. king: "all labor has dignity"

remembering dr. king's fight for the right to vote

50 police officers in britain arrested in child porn raids

rape at burning man
posted by skippy at 1:30 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, January 20, 2013

skippy's sunday night music club

still up in the city....enjoying the fancy food trade show and @karlthefog.

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

sunday afternoon in the park

5 people accidentally shot at 3 gun shows on gun appreciation day

teen buys illegal gun, accidentally shoots off penis

corporations spread the flu

research shows men and women can't be friends

and it's a sad day for baseball; rip earl weaver and stan 'the man' musial
posted by skippy at 11:59 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, January 19, 2013

skippy's saturday night music club

yep. i'm in "baghdad by the bay"

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

saturday night on saturn

if you aren't alarmed about the climate, you aren't paying attention

man upset about his kid's school pledge of allegience, threatens "i have spilled bloood before"

the hoax about 'entitlement reform'

and why not go to a national park on martin luther king day? it's free!
posted by skippy at 12:47 PM | 0 comments

Friday, January 18, 2013

skippy's friday night music club

i am up in san francisco this weekend attending the fancy food trade show....and sitting by the dock of the bay.

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

friday let me down

anti-gay activist lawyer convicted of child pornography

american express to cut 5,400 jobs

artist takes every drug known to man, draws self-portrait while on each one

and rest in peace, 'whacgu talkin' 'bout, willis?' dad conrad bain, and pauline phillips, dear abby
posted by skippy at 10:13 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, January 17, 2013

skippy's thursday night music club

i am heading up to the city this weekend for the fancy food trade show. better open up those golden gates...

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

since lance armstrong is coming clean

about his being "not clean"....who will pay for taking the u.s. postal service to the cleaners?
from 1996 to 2004, the u.s. postal service paid out $40 million in federal funds to sponsor the team. team management, which hired and paid the riders, promised in its contracts not to tolerate doping. the major fraud investigations division of the postal service’s office of inspector general is trying to determine if armstrong and others defrauded the government by violating that no-doping clause, a federal prosecutor wrote in a filing last year. - business week

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:00 PM | 3 comments

thursday nite goddess

joe biden has become the most influnetial vice president in history

obama creates a new national park

conspiracy theorists who believe that the sandy hook victims were actors hired by the government

notre dame linebacker manti te'o does not have a dead girlfriend
posted by skippy at 9:28 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

wednesday mayday

christian fundamentalistsfreak out over yoga in the military

minnesota union leader says tax the rich and raise welfare grants

the nra had a less-than-1% rate of return for investors in the last election

we all know that comment trolls suck, but now there's scientific proof!
posted by skippy at 11:59 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

don't stiff the staff

the right wing whackadoodles like michele bachmann just don't seem to get that.
"...the staffers are owed a mere $5,000, and that bachmann has more than $2 million in her campaign account, but has refused to pay unless the staffers sign the (nondisclosure) agreement." - daily kos
but, perhaps, one of the staff was....well, you know...
"brett held her captive day after day, speech after speech, etc. in the back of the bus during the 99-county tour. by the end, she was broken emotionally, mentally, and slept in her private cabin in the back of the bus. i do not know if she has ever recovered," waldron said - buzzfeed

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:55 PM | 8 comments

skippy's tuesday night music club

it's been really cold in southern california. we've been getting three dog night temperatures.


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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:16 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to the jeff fecke daily
posted by skippy at 10:09 PM | 0 comments

it's a waste

no, really....
a new report released by a british engineering society reveals that worldwide, billions of tons of food are squandered each year because of poor agriculture practices, which include inefficient harvesting and inadequate infrastructure and storage—and it's depleting earth's water supply - mother jones

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:35 PM | 0 comments

bobby jindal selling out the poor

gov. "i took a spell outta you" jindal doesn't want to ask the wealthy to pay a little bit more....he wants to sock it to the poor of louisiana.
louisiana governor bobby jindal (r) recently rolled out a plan to replace his state’s personal income and corporate taxes with an increased sales tax. such a move would shift taxes from the rich to the poor, who are disproportionately hit by the sales tax.

according to an analysis by the institute on taxation and economic policy, jindal’s plan will raise taxes on the bottom 80 percent of louisianians, while cutting them for the richest 1 percent: - think progress

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:29 PM | 1 comments

church on tuesday

the case against billionaires

how the clinton surplus became a $6 trillion deficit

science is partisan

when do low-income americans get their white house meeting?
posted by skippy at 6:06 AM | 0 comments

Monday, January 14, 2013

skippy's monday night music club

the santa barbarian "dude" abides....and sings.


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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:35 PM | 0 comments

blast from the past

cheney authorized the shooting down of flight 93.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:16 PM | 0 comments

when temperatures drop

get ready for food prices to rise.

according to the national weather service, many san fernando and san gabriel valley areas recorded temperatures in the low 30s -- and some in the high 20s -- overnight. lancaster and palmdale recorded 16-degree lows. even coastal areas such as long beach had lows in the 30s.

...the cold snap has been a particular concern for citrus farmers across the state, who have been up all night since thursday. there are $1 billion in oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruit still on trees in california, the nation's largest producer of fresh citrus. - latte times

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:37 PM | 0 comments

tweet of the day

 chuck hagel has a portugese water dog? he's following in pres. obama's footsteps. so he must hate america too.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:31 PM | 0 comments

forget area 51

what is freakin' out the gop is "agenda 21"
right-wing republicans have somehow come to believe that agenda 21 contains a secret, nefarious plot to destroy american life and society as we know it, birthing a cottage industry devoted to spreading misinformation about the un proposal. the most recent evidence of this movement’s reach is a proposal by two indiana lawmakers to ban the implementation of any agenda 21-inspired initiatives in the state. - think progress

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:08 PM | 0 comments

Bridging a Degree of Separation: The Arts in Life

One of my old college classmates—much more famous for time spent blogging here and here, including "hogging" (may it be resumed over Gary Bettman's dead body)—reviews one of my wife's favorite novels:

So I want to talk for a moment about Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. No, really. It is very strange, but I have been having conversations about A Wrinkle in Time all year long with colleagues and friends. I’ve even gone back and reread the book. I was motivated partly by all the attention it received this year, the fiftieth anniversary of its publication. I learned only in January of this year, reading an item in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, that L’Engle’s heroine, Meg Murry, is something like the patron saint of “bookish girls” everywhere; as Anne Lamott remarked in November of this year, “A Wrinkle in Time saved me because it so captured the grief and sense of isolation I felt as a child.” And I realized that when I read it in 1972, I completely missed how anomalous it was that a speculative sci-fi young-adult novel would have as its protagonist an awkward girl who is such a science geek she can recite a good chunk of the periodic table of the elements by memory. I missed that because I identified with Meg Murry; I didn’t get the memo that boys weren’t supposed to identify with female protagonists, and I shared Meg’s sense of social anxiety and science geekdom and general outsiderness just as, a few years earlier, I had shared in Alice’s sense of bewilderment and wonder and occasional aggravation at the worlds of Wonderland and the Looking-Glass.

Check out the whole thing.
posted by Ken Houghton at 12:32 PM | 1 comments

on a monday

following current tv deal, al gore is now richer than mitt romney

do our brains work better out of doors away from technology?

first antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea detected in north america

christopher tolkein says peter jackson 'eviscerated' his father's work
posted by skippy at 11:12 AM | 2 comments

Sunday, January 13, 2013

skippy's sunday night music club

a little song touching upon environmental issues....

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:09 PM | 0 comments

sunday afternoons

moderate republican group votes to take the word 'republican' out of its name

australia's extreme heat is the canary in the global warming coal mine

new law forces health insurance companies to use plain language to explain their policies

almost 100 years ago, the infamous armory show in new york opened -- exposing america to the modern art of duchamp and the dadaists
posted by skippy at 11:55 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, January 12, 2013

according to bernie saunders, 1 in 4 profitable corporations in america pay 0 federal taxes
posted by skippy at 8:50 PM | 0 comments

saturday night is the loneliest night of the week

more soldiers took their own lives than died in combat during 2012

"i'm not racist, but..." yes, you are

the sharp, sudden decline of america's middle class

it's a giant rubber ducky in sydney harbor!
posted by skippy at 12:55 PM | 0 comments

Friday, January 11, 2013

skippy's friday night music club

a little mood music to start your weekend off with...

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments


posted by mahakal at 5:47 PM | 0 comments

on the matter of the debt trilemma

tax coupons. that is all. issue notes that will be accepted for taxes, and the government is not borrowing but lending future revenues into circulation.
posted by mahakal at 3:17 PM | 0 comments

friday i'm in love

man arrested in texas for filming cop

arizona's anti-immigration bill is losing the state millions

it pays for states to raise the minimum wage

workers digging subway tunnels have discovered emporer hadrian's poetry and arts amphitheatre under rome

posted by skippy at 10:41 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, January 10, 2013

skippy's thursday night music club

a little theatrical thursday selection....from one of my favorite democrats, gene kelly, and his on-screen partner, the incomparable judy garland.

kelly was a lifelong supporter of the democratic party which occasionally created difficulty for him as his period of greatest prominence coincided with the mccarthy era in the u.s. in 1947, he was part of the cfor the first amendment, the hollywood delegation which flew to washington to protest at the first official hearings by the house committee on un-aactivities. his first wife, betsy blair, was suspected of being a communist sympathizer and when mgm, who had offered blair a part in marty (1955), were considering withdrawing her under pressure from the american legion, kelly successfully threatened mgm with a pullout from it's always fair weather unless his wife was restored to the part. - wiki

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:48 PM | 1 comments

thursday night blues

the republicans are losing the debt ceiling fight

silencing the science on gun safety

number of veterans who die waiting for benefits skyrockets

hooray! it's the manhatten museum of mathematics!
posted by skippy at 11:33 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

skippy's wednesday night music club

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

wednesday lover

gun owners are 4.5 times more likely to be shot than non-gun owners

amidst record drilling, gas prices hit record highs in 2012

the tea party is in its death throes

which professions have the most psychopaths?
posted by skippy at 11:23 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

happy birthday elvis

where ever you may be....

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:45 PM | 2 comments

radio show host alex jones

goes on a tv show...and proves that he is in need of serious mental health help. (i think that is covered in obamacare.)
....jones said the point of the petition was to bring attention to the fact that united states has a bunch of foreigners bragging about taking away the guns of americans while the gov’t amasses more weapons for themselves. he said that the second amendment isn’t for “duck-hunting,” it’s to protect us from “tyrannical government.” he raised his voice to declare to morgan, “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!” - mediate
he now is claiming that he is marked for assassination....
“if you don’t know that bloomberg is total mafia, you’re on another planet,” jones said. “they’re thugs. i know what they are.”

“if something happens to us, or we’re killed by crackheads, it was the nypd or mafia they hired,” jones added. - mediate

piers morgan has an afterthought -
"he was the best advertisement for gun control you could wish for," morgan told politico

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 5:17 PM | 1 comments

get out the crayola weather crayons

australia is so hot, meterologists have had to come up with a new color.
as a record-breaking heatwave hovers over many regions and territories (which are in their summer months now), the continent’s bureau of meteorology has added two new colors to the weather map to reflect the rising mercury. the map currently shows the weather in orange tones at the top, which indicate temperatures 40 to 48 degrees celsius. but forecasts are predicting off-the-charts weather. as a result, pink and purple will now cover temperatures over 50 degrees celsius—should it climb that high. - yahoo

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:13 PM | 0 comments

c u on tuesday

why america needs a left

why the super-rich feel victimized by obama

why means-testing is just plain mean

10 things you may not know about james bond
posted by skippy at 5:49 AM | 0 comments

Monday, January 07, 2013

i've been busy

president obama himself wants to stay away from the negotiating table in debt ceiling talks. i think we owe it to him to give him moral support. please sign the petition at whitehouse.gov and recommend my post at firedoglake.
posted by George at 11:48 PM | 0 comments

god speed huell howser

you were part of california's gold.
huell howser--a california broadcasting legend for his various shows that have appeared on public broadcasting over the past couple of decades--has died, according to sources who spoke to the weekly on condition of anonymity. - ocweekly

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:37 PM | 2 comments

new moon on monday

a checkerboard strategy for regaining the progressive strategy

6 ways to juice up the labor movement

jews who work for a free palestine

the royal mail (britain's postal service) is releasing a limited edition of doctor who stamps featuring all eleven doctors (and a few monsters, too)!
posted by skippy at 6:27 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, January 06, 2013

skippy's sunday night music club

a little "thrill-less" blues

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

the slow killing of the post office

bryan over at why now? breaks it down succinctly...it "is about stealing the profitable activities of the post office and leaving it with the most expensive service it provides." 

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:11 PM | 0 comments

no wonder the gop hates chuck hagel

he actually works with democrats...and sometimes comes out and makes reality-based statements.

“each one of us who has a responsibility of helping lead this country needs to reflect on what we think is in the interests of our country, not the interest of our party or our president.”

"i took an oath of office to the constitution, i didn't take an oath of office to my party or my president."

"our relationship with israel is special and historic,... but it need not and cannot be at the expense of our arab and muslim relationships."

re: bush's troop increase in iraq - "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam, if it's carried out

describing the bush administration - "the lowest in capacity, in capability, in policy, in consensus—almost every area" of any presidency in the last forty years."

"people say we're not fighting for oil. of course we are. they talk about america's national interest. what the hell do you think they're talking about? we're not there for figs."

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:26 PM | 0 comments

environmental news stories sunday

forget the fiscal cliff....it's the climate cliff we really need to worry about. however, i don't think you will hear anything about that on the talking head shows today.

staggering cost of repairs allows sewage to foul new jersey waterways. more than 23 billion gallons of raw sewage and other pollutants pour into new jersey’s rivers and bays each year because aging sewer systems are overwhelmed during heavy rains. the raw sewage and toxic waste is enough to fill the oradell reservoir nearly seven times over - bergen county record

as biofuel demand grows, so do guatemala’s hunger pangs. with its corn-based diet and proximity to the united states, central america has long been vulnerable to economic riptides related to the united states’ corn policy. now that the united states is using 40 percent of its crop to make biofuel, it is not surprising that tortilla prices have doubled in guatemala, which imports nearly half of its corn - nytimes

fears for missing residents as fire fighting continues. police fear there may have been deaths in the fire-ravaged south-east of tasmania, with a number of people reported missing. since friday, more than 100 homes have been destroyed by a bushfire between forcett and the tasman peninsula, in the state's south-east - australia abc news

thousands flee out of control bushfires in australia. australia’s savage bushfire season has arrived with cruel force this weekend, destroying scores of buildings and taking the life of at least one man who died as he tried to save his tasmania home from the flames - times of london

china's heavy metal and chemical pollution worsening. in china, a senior environmental policy official has warned the mainland faces an "extremely grave" environmental crisis that will only worsen as pollution increases and the health problems its causes come to light - south china morning post

coal in the rich world: the mixed fortunes of a fuel. why is the world’s most harmful fossil fuel being burned less in america and more in europe? coal-fired power stations provide two-fifths of the world’s electricity, and there are ever more of them. if current trends continue, coal will vie with oil as the world’s largest source of primary energy within five years. - economist

projecting warming's impact on the san francisco bay area. without drastic changes to fossil fuel emissions, the impacts of global warming will land on the bay area with a brute force that pays no regard to our relatively liberal politics, farsighted state climate regulations or fondness for hybrid vehicles - sfgate

gregoire emerges as top contender to boss epa. president obama is about to nominate outgoing washington gov. chris gregoire as the new head of the u.s. environmental protection agency, according to a very private prediction from a very senior source in washington’s congressional delegation - seattle pi

scientists seek foolproof signal to predict earthquakes. the dream is to be able to forecast earthquakes like we now predict the weather. even a few minutes' warning would be enough for people to move away from walls or ceilings that might collapse or for nuclear plants and other critical facilities to be shut down safely in advance of the temblor. - national geographic news

looking to sky to fight climate change. a team of researchers is hoping to be able to make coastal clouds more reflective – thus sending more heat and light back into space, wielding clouds as shields against climate change. one fear, however, is that altering the atmosphere this way could also unleash dangerous side effects - sfgate

whatever your mixed metaphor for it might be -- melting glacial vortex, drought abyss, or maybe just hell (in the burning sense) -- climate change certainly deserves some imagistic attention in a world in which, as tomdispatch regular and founder of 350.org bill mckibben suggests, time is not on our side. - tom dispatch

climate change a reality for massachusetts south shore communities. if you want to see the effects of climate change and rising sea levels, look along ocean street in marshfield, mass., whenever waves batter the boulders and sea wall, the town’s planner, paul halkiotis, says - boston patriot leader

Fracker ad clashes on screen with damon’s 'promised land.' before many pennsylvania movie-goers settle in for matt damon’s film about the fight over natural gas drilling, they will see a message from the energy industry offering "straightforward facts" about hydraulic fracturing and trying to paint damon’s movie as derivative, condescending and cliched - bloomberg news

ohio's fracking panel is delayed. ohio officials are more than a year behind schedule in setting up a system to allow oil and gas “ fracking” in state parks and forests - columbus dispatch

dumped christmas trees are a gift for lake havasu fish. the ghosts of christmas past can be found in some unusual places. the bottom of lake havasu, for instance. there, thousands of christmas trees sunk by wildlife biologists have found a second life as fish habitat in an ecosystem damaged by the damming of the colorado river decades ago. - latte times
on new year’s eve, in the middle of a storm, shell was trying to tow its kulluk drilling rig from alaska to seattle. why then? why risk the bad weather, which, as it turned out, caused the rig to break free from its tugboats and run aground on lodiak island? to avoid paying state taxes, of course. - grist

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:43 AM | 0 comments

sunday afternoon in the park

unregulated gun sales website owned by mormon church

the four business gangs that run the u.s.

hannity's ratings fell by 50% after the election

david attenborough first to capture on film rare galapagos pink iguana

posted by skippy at 8:51 AM | 13 comments

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Service Workers Will Never Be Paid for What They Can Produce

The authors don’t intend this to mean that the shift from manufacturing to Services means that workers will never get paid their marginal product. But I think it does.


Those at the AEA—er, ASSA—meeting can ask them tomorrow: Jan 06, 2013 8:00 am, Hyatt, Manchester E.

(cross-posted, in slightly different form, at Angry Bear.

posted by Ken Houghton at 3:56 PM | 0 comments

saturday night is alright for fighting

the most devastating look at obama's digital election teams and how they crushed romney's

more guns, more mass shootings -- coincidence?

oh, frabjous day! callooh callay! it's off to jail for tom delya!

limbaugh mentions anal poisoning 13 times in 2 years
posted by skippy at 11:59 AM | 0 comments

Friday, January 04, 2013

One Good Thing Apparently Came Out of that $3.9T Deficit-Increasing Tax Bill

For the past year, mass transit users have been subsidizing drivers. After three years of parirty (2009-2011), the limit on pre-tax contributions to mass transit was dropped from parity: drivers could exempt $240 a month, while commuters could exempt only $125. (Adding insult to injury, parking is treated separately. Both dreivers and commuters could exempt an additional $240 a month in parking expenses, rather as both rich and poor can "choose" to sleep under bridges.)

Parity returns this year, though apparently rather too late for January. (Though parking is still subsidized to excess.)

It's something.
posted by Ken Houghton at 12:05 PM | 0 comments

friday face

chained cpi is not an adjustment, it's a benefits cut

congress will only get worse from here

there has been an average of 18 gun deaths a day since newtown

amazon spider creates decoys of itself to fool predators
posted by skippy at 8:25 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, January 03, 2013

thursday morning

home is where the union is

how to keep organized for tax season

gopsters fighting science have blood on their hands

mark mckinnon, aide to gw bush and john mccain: "the gop is shrinking daily before our eyes

and rip "tennessee waltz" songstress patti page
posted by skippy at 11:42 AM | 0 comments

my friend stole my sweetheart from me

rip patti page
posted by skippy at 8:30 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

skippy's wednesday night music club

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:13 PM | 0 comments

currently you can still call me al

al gore sells current tv to al jazeera.
al jazeera on wednesday announced a deal to take over current tv, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by al gore, a former vice president, and his business partners seven years ago. al jazeera plans to shut current and start an english-language channel, which will be available in more than 40 million homes, with newscasts emanating from both new york and doha, qatar. - nytimes
let the gop freak out begin.

* updated * apparently, time warner doesn't like this deal and today dropped carrying al altogether.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:41 PM | 0 comments

carl sagan was right

billions is the operative word to use...
the milky way contains at least 100 billion planets, or enough to have one for each of its stars, and many of them are likely to be capable of supporting conditions favorable to life, according to a new estimate from scientists at the california institute of technology in pasadena, california (caltech). - talking points memo

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:34 PM | 0 comments

first up in entitlement reform: reform the words "entitlement reform"

a few years ago, upon hearing the word "entitlement" to refer to social security and medicare, skippy was perplexed. the definition of "entitlement" that he learned in school seemed to have the 100% opposite meaning of how it was being used currently; ie, being "entitled" to something implies that one does not have to prove one's self worthy to be able to enjoy that something, eg, an inheritance.

social security and medicare, as skippy understood it, were programs that one paid into one's entire working life, and therefore one had earned the right to participate in those programs upon retirement.

therefore, social security is no more an "entitlement" than a paycheck; who would insist that someone who performed work for a contractually-agreed-upon salary was "entitled"? try telling the 1% that their dividends on their investments are "entitlements" and see how far you get.

to use the word "entitlement" to describe something which is expected, due or warranted by convention or legal means dilutes the entire meaning of the word. everything in life that we are not legally enjoined from is an entitlement: all that we need is the air that we are entitled to breath and to love you.

skippy even looked up the word "entitlement" in the dictionary back then, and found the definition to include the concept of inheritance, but nothing about earnings. but this was 7 to 8 years ago.

now if you look up that word, somehow the conventional wisdom has included social security and medicare:

3. the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as social security or unemployment compensation.
we have not researched any proof of our following theory, but we feel that this orwellian twisting of word meaning is part of the lee atwater/karl rove "war is peace slavery is freedom" bending of semantics to help change perception and eventually therefore policy. notice the use of "entitlement" to describe a very specific contractually-earned return on investment appeared about the same time as "democrat party" and "death tax" (to replace "inheritance tax," the true entitlement).

and this word-dance is a thing of beauty. now, who wouldn't want to "reform" (read: cut) "entitlements"? who needs entitlements, anyway? who do those senior middle class retirees think they are, being entitled to money from the government? no, this re-defining of the english language is a move worthy of goebbels, or at least humpty dumpty.

we ourselves wanted to call ss and medicare something more along the lines of "retirement benefits," because, after all, that is more descriptive and less inflammatory. but we admit, that's a bit of a mouthful compared to the succinct and visceral "entitlements."

so we are happy to jump on board the "earned benefits" wagon:

social security and medicare are not “entitlements” – except in the sense that everyone should be entitled to the money (including interest) that they deposit in a bank account.

our grandparents, parents and now you and i pay into these programs with every check we receive. pull out your paystub and look. you will see deductions for fica and for medicare. why are these programs being included in conversations surrounding the “fiscal cliff”?

for decades now, right-wing think tanks like the heritage foundation have been telling us we must “replace the culture of entitlements with one of mutual responsibility.” but workers have always been responsible. the only irresponsibility here belongs to congress, who started borrowing from our fund beginning in the reagan years…

politicians should be protecting – not sacrificing – these programs that employees have paid into, all these decades.

it is up to all of us as american workers to ensure these programs will be there when we need them. this begins with changing the conversation – and in particular, the wording. social security and medicare are not entitlements but earned benefits. our politicians must understand we will not give up on what is rightfully ours.
-- nh labor news
so, it was encouraging, while traveling through the jungle of facebook, to come across someone who proudly proclaimed that social security was based on "earned benefits, not entitlements."

after all, "entitlements" best describe what the wealthy and their political advocates believe is due them; the "entitlement" to inherit as much money as possible and to make off with as big a slice of america's economic pie as possible. to argue that you deserve to be gluttonously wealthy because your mommy or daddy made a fortune selling short in the stock market, now that's an "entitlement."

but for 99 percent of the citizens in the united states, we work for our retirement income. we earn the benefits of social security; we don't inherit them.
the "ponzi scheme" took place on wall street, not main street.
-- mark karlin, editor of buzzflash
in a comment to an earlier post, commenter sailor1031 raised a point that has also been bugging me but which i had done nothing about, and that is the use of the word ‘entitlements’ to cover social security and medicare.
the oligarchy loves the word entitlement because it has largely negative connotations. while one use of the word is of something that is rightly due to a person, that the person is thus entitled to, more often the word is used in the context of people who ‘have a sense of entitlement’, by which we mean that they feel that the world owes them something that they have not earned and that they are living off the work of others. it is precisely this kind of thinking that lay behind mitt romney’s infamous pre-election 47% comments and his and bill o’reilly’s equally infamous post-election comments that the people who voted to re-elect president obama did so because he gave them ‘gifts’ and promised them even more. they see people who get these benefits as moochers.

but as sailor1031 pointed out, social security and medicare are things that people have contributed to all their working lives as part of the social compact that when they can no longer work, it will be there so that they can live the twilight of their lives in dignity. while one can debate the actuarial issues of whether they get more less than they put in, there is no question that it is largely a debt that society is repaying to its elderly, not an act of charity.

i think a much better term than ‘entitlements’ would be ‘earned benefits’ and that is what i will use in the future unless someone comes up with something even better.
-- mano singham, free thought blogs
you know that social security and medicare are in jeopardy when even democrats refer to them as entitlements. "entitlement" has a negative sound in colloquial english: somebody who is "entitled" selfishly claims something he doesn't really deserve. why not call them "earned benefits," which is what they are because we all contribute payroll taxes to fund them?
-- mike lofgren, truthout
so one of our resolutions for 2013 will be to work hard to get the term "entitlements" replaced with "earned benefits." it's the exact same number of syllables, easy to remember, and very much to the point as to what the programs actually are.

and, we hope, this will be your resolution as well.
posted by skippy at 2:05 PM | 1 comments

wednesday like a river

mainstream pundits now saying gop 'unfit for governing'

conservatives freak out, call for boehner to be fired, and blame obama

doctors call for ban on handguns

wis. state senator: kwanza is a fake holoday

posted by skippy at 9:49 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

all is quiet on new year's day

72% of republicans fear the new year

the geography of gun deaths

cannabis makes pain more bearable

the guys who stole charlie chaplin's corpse
posted by skippy at 11:55 AM | 1 comments

january 1, 2013

all is quiet on new year's day.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:51 AM | 0 comments