Friday, September 9, 2011

Last Call

Oops!  Getting Ahead Of The Facts Edition brought to you courtesy of TMZ:
CBS's web series -- "What's Trending" -- tweeted an item which said, "Reports say that Steve Jobs has passed away. Stay tuned for more updates."

But almost immediately, they yanked the item and tweeted an apology of sorts: "Reports of Steve Job's [sic] death completely unconfirmed."

There is a vast difference between unconfirmed and not true, but so far other reports have failed to confirm Jobs has taken a turn for the worse.

Of course, Bloomberg accidentally published their obituary-in-the-works while updating the content, and  you can always check (their status is currently "nope") in a Google search to make sure.  Poor guy.  If he is as sick as he seems, it has to be unreal to know his health is being tracked so closely.


This Will Not End Well, People

Turkey has upped the ante on their latest Gaza aid flotilla into Israeli waters with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan saying armed Turkish Navy vessels will be escorting the aid ships and will repel Israeli attempts to the stop the flotilla.  Al Jazeera English:

Turkey's naval forces would escort Turkish humanitarian aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister has said, following Israel's refusal to apologise for its deadly raid on an aid flotilla heading to the besieged Palestinian territory in May 2010.

"We have humanitarian aid to be sent there. And our humanitarian aid will not be attacked anymore, as happened to the Mavi Marmara," he told the Al Jazeera on Thursday.

"Turkish warships will be tasked with protecting the Turkish boats bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip."

Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara, the ship which aimed to break Israel's naval blockade, and killed nine people - eight Turks and one US citizen of Turkish origin - in international waters, causing a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Erdogan also said that Turkey would closely monitor international waters and had taken steps to prevent what he called Israel’s unilateral exploitation of natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Responding to Erdogan's interview, Dan Meridor, Israel's intelligence minister, told Israel army radio: "These remarks are grave and serious, but we have no wish to add to the polemic.

"It is better to stay quiet and wait - we have no interest in aggravating the situation by replying to such [verbal] attacks."

At this point Turkey is saying "If you go after our aid ships like you did last time, it's on like Donkey Kong."  I'm pretty sure an active naval shooting war between two of our most important allies in the region is relatively high on the list of things that America doesn't need right now.

I'm really hoping Team Hillary is on the phone with both Erdogan and Netanyahu to talk both sides down here, because this has about a 90% probability of turning into a live fire exercise where people die and really bad things happen as a result.

This is the time we need cooler heads to prevail.

Hello, Meet My Friend Mr. Physics

I have to give points for creativity, but an epic fail of this type must be shared.  This has nothing to do with politics or the future of our world.  It's a big fellow who has an Epic Fail on film.  No kitties or bunnies were harmed with this act of stupidity.  Enjoy!

Click here to giggle without guilt.

Power Plays

The next time someone tells you infrastructure spending in the US is wasted and unecessary and the free market will fix everything if we just deregulate all utilities, please remind them of the this story.

More than 2 million people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border were left without power Thursday after a major outage that extended from Arizona to southern California, including San Diego, the eighth largest U.S. city.

Mike Niggli, chief operating officer of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. ruled out terrorism but said the cause is unclear.

"To my knowledge this is the first time we've lost an entire system," he said at a news conference.

The outage that started shortly before 4 p.m. PDT extended from southern parts of Orange County to San Diego to Yuma, Arizona. It also is affecting cities south of the border across much of the state of northern Baja.

All outgoing flights from San Diego's Lindbergh Field were grounded and police stations were using generators to accept emergency calls across San Diego County.

Charles Coleman, a spokesman from Southern California Edison, said the two reactors at the San Onofre nuclear power plant went offline at 3:38 p.m. as they are programmed to do when there is a disturbance in the power grid, but there was no danger to the public or to workers there.

Residents in parts of eastern San Diego County and Yuma, Ariz. endured sweltering temperatures with no air conditioning.

But remember, spending money to shore up our increasingly aging power grid and water systems in the US is "wasteful union thuggery".   Extreme heat from climate charge and a system getting older every day means you will see more and more of this happening throughout the US in the months and years ahead.

Gosh, if there were only a million or so unemployed people we could put to work on projects improving these infrastructure systems across the country...

StupidiNews! Cutting The Cheese Edition

A Wisconsin state official issued a memo earlier this year to Department of Motor Vehicles employees directing that they should not voluntarily inform residents that they can obtain a voter identification card for free, according to The Capital Times, which obtained a copy of the memo.

A state law adopted earlier in the year dictates that residents can obtain a free voter identification card if they check off a box when applying for a photo identification card with the Department of Motor Vehicles. If residents do not check the box, they must pay a $28 fee for the voter card, according to the Times.

The law requires Wisconsin residents to present identification before they can vote. Proponents said the law was necessary to combat voter fraud, The Capital Times reports. The law, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, was the focus of heated debate. Democrats fought against it.

Another fine example of your tax dollars at work. I hope this gets enough play in Wisconsin that everybody knows what is available. Not proactively offering something for free is a solid business tactic, but this isn't about business, it's about serving citizens.

How much crap would have stayed off the radar if we didn't live in the information age?

That Relationship Has Legs

Normally, I don't make a big deal out of celebrity couples, but George Clooney may have finally found The One.  Stacy Keibler has managed to tame our eternal bachelor for a while now, and that's a major feat. Clooney has made no effort to disguise his ambition to remain single and sample the world, and Keibler has enjoyed her fame but maintained a more steady love life, having stayed with the same fellow for several years.

I mean, Clooney has to settle sometime, before he rounds the bend from "distinguished" to "brittle" like my beloved Sam Elliott.  I'm a huge fan of Keibler for her upbeat attitude and work ethic.  If it can't be me, I'm glad it's her.  Sigh.

Bachmann Goes All Judge Mental, Part 2

Wow, I didn't think I'd get to use that post title again so quickly, but as Bon pointed out the other day, Michele Bachmann really doesn't give a damn about reproductive choice or women's rights.

The kicker?  She was asked about abortion.  Little Miss "government shouldn't control what isn't in the Constitution" flipped at that point.  When it comes to a woman's choice about her body, Bachmann folded like Superman on laundry day, and said she would do everything in her power to restrict abortions.  Just like that.  How our kids are taught should be left up to the small government.  The reproductive choice of millions of women is up to Michele Bachmann.  And the little twit still doesn't understand the concept of choice or freedom, as she illustrates with this little nugget of dumb.  Like with the rest of the Tea Party, your choices only matter when it fits their plan for how you should live.  If you dare believe differently, you don't deserve protection by law. The only choices you should have are the ones they give you.

And given a chance to "clarify" her opinions on women's reproductive rights before Wednesday's debate, Bachmann threw everyone with a uterus under the bus yet again

Bachmann basically said that as President, she would sign a bill that directly overturned Roe v. Wade, and would dare the Supreme Court to do something about it.

That's how Miss Limited Government, who thinks Obama is a dictator and a thug, would run her administration.  She doesn't deserve to be in the same room as the President, frankly.

Deadbeat In Every Sense Of The Word

How far into the scumbag category are Republican lawmakers when it comes to hypocrisy?  Rep. Joe "Deadbeat Dad Of The Year" Walsh wants his ex-wife, the one he owes more than $100,000 in back child support payments to, mind you, to face legal sanctions and to pay his legal bills for daring to sue him over the money.  And it gets worse:

In July, court documents showed that Laura Walsh was suing the congressman for more than $117,000 in unpaid child support.

The lawsuit pointed to a $35,000 loan he personally gave to his campaign, claiming that if he had enough for that, he had enough to help support their 9-year-old child.

In a possible effort to slow down the case, lawyers for the Illinois Republican asked his ex-wife to provide extensive documentation, including records of her employment, salary, bank statements, tax returns and expense reports. After she failed to provide the documents, Walsh sought to have her sanctioned by the court.

Jack Coladarci, Laura Walsh's attorney, told The Sun Times that the move was "harassment."

He added that Laura Walsh was under no obligation to produce the records and that the issue should be Walsh not paying his past-due child support.

And yet this guy is free to make laws for every American when he can't even follow the law himself.  But altogether now:  It's OK If You're A Republican!

Your Political Cartoon Of The Moment

Jeff Parker of Florida Today:

The story behind that is here:

The exact number of tests taken and their result is still being tabulated by the Department of Children and Families, but Tampa Bay Online reported that at least 1,000 tests had been taken for welfare applications between mid-July and mid-August.

Ninety-six percent of the tests were clean, 2 percent didn't complete the application process for unspecified reasons and only 2 percent of the applicants tested positive for drug use. 

Remember, Gov. Rick Scott said that this was necessary because welfare recipients had a much higher incidence of drug use than the rest of Florida.

However, recent data from U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services showed that in the population above 12 years old, 8.7 percent use illicit drugs, and 6.3 percent of people 26 and older use drugs, compared to the demonstrated 2 percent of welfare recipients in Florida.

Gosh, you think Scott was pissing on Floridians' heads and calling it rain?


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