Wednesday, March 4, 2015

SAR #15063

Relax, embrace variation, accept uncertainty, drink single malts.

Anti-Climax: After embarrassing themselves and their leadership, the GOP has quietly given up on blocking Obama's executive orders on immigration and haspassed legislation funding Homeland security. Quietly. Very quietly.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum: “You can believe NASA and you can believe what their satellites measure on the planet, or you can believe the Senator with the snowball. The United States Navy... has said that climate change is the biggest threat that we face in the Pacific…you can either believe the United States Navy or you can believe the Senator with the snowball…every major American scientific society has put itself on record... that climate change is deadly real. Their predictions correlate with what we see... And the fundamental principles, that it is derived from carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels, are beyond legitimate dispute…so you can believe every single major American scientific society, or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.” Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Asked and Unanswerable: Just how stupid does Paul Ryan think we are? 
The Barter System: David Petraeus' paramour got copies of his notes from meetings with the president, notebooks full of spies' names and other top secret data. Petraeus, in return, got laid. Then he lied to the FBI about all this. The government considers this a misdemeanor (unlike the felonies that whistleblowers commit), so the former CIA director will get a year's probation. No jail time for gentlemen. Oh, and he gets to keep his pension... and his security clearance?

Impolite Question: Say, did slave labor produce that lovely seafood you just had? Probably.

Perspective: While the media and the Republicans run around making the big deal over Secretary Clinton's use of private email, bear in mind that John Kerry is the first Secretary of State ever to exclusively use the government's email system. Further, Ms. Clinton did not, even once, disclose classified information in her emails. And if the GOP wants copies of them, they can just ask NSA. They've got them. 
The Vision Thing: Scott Walker’s “vision for America is less as a functioning republic, and more as a profit center”. Sure it sounds like a neo-con's wet dream, but it also sounds an awful lot like Obama's TPP.

Qualifications: Saudi Arabia's new ruler, King Salman, has given the Saudi Award, one of the kingdom's highest accolades, to a Muslim televangelist who claims that Jews control America, that apostates can be killed, that the US is the world's biggest terrorist, and that 9/11 was “an inside job.” Okay, so killing apostates isn't nice, but otherwise?

Motions, Going Thru: US credit card companies have set an October deadline for merchants to switch to terminals that take chip-cards. This is only a minor improvement in security. Chip plus PIN cards are far more secure, but would cost more to implement, so we'll continue to be two or three decades behind the rest of the world.

Good On Him: NYC Mayor de Blasio will skip the St. Patrick's Day parade unless the parade organizers abandon their ban on displays of gay pride.

Eating Into Profits: Barclays is booking a $1.2 billion charge to make the investigation into its part in currency rigging go away. No one, of course, did anything wrong, and no one will go to jail.

Good Question: Iran's Foreign Minister suggests the US should ask itself why it continues to create extremists that it later fights. Someone should tell him that to the US that's a benefit, not a bug.

And Then Some: Fox acknowledges that Bill O'Reilly was not in the Falklands, did not witness bombings in Northern Ireland, was not present at a police riot against protesters in CA, did not witness murders in El Salvador and quite possibly isn't actually is Bill O'Reilly. 
Porn O'Graph: Drugged policy. (Also this: A Federal report says that smoking pot does not increase the risk of a car accident.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

SAR #15062

The trouble with presenting evidence and appealing to reason is that it assumes that evidence and reason will have any effect.Paul Krugman

Tryouts: If the Republican leadership can't even get enough votes to fund Homeland Security for three weeks, why should we think the Republicans are grown up enough to govern the country?

En Passant: By the end of this year, largely as a result of Western sanctions and the fall in world oil prices, average Russians will be spending about half their income on food. Another triumph for America – hungry Russians.

Lots'a Luck: The French government wants obsolescence to be unplanned – or at least it wants companies to make appliances that will last longer and for the consumer to have idea of how long things will last. Incurable romantics.

Evidentially: Some time ago scientist and science commentator Bill Nye expressed some strong reservations about the safety of GMO use, noting that it had not been tested well enough nor long enough. Now he has changed his mind. Why? Because he did the necessary investigation to learn the results of peer-reviewed experimentation and found sufficient data to reverse his previous view. No, he's not wishy washy; he's a scientist. That's the way it's supposed to work.

Your Results May Vary: It seems that whoever it is that makes these sort of judgments may once more promote Pluto to the status of 'planet'. In interviews, Pluto cites a diet of cabbage soup and vitamin supplements....

Recovery: It seems that in banking/investment circles, 'normal' has come to mean 'like it was just before the last crash.'

First Do No Harm: Michigan's Republican-led House has approved a bill that would give doctors and EMT technicians the right to let gays die if rendering treatment would violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” According to the convoluted thought processes of Republican Speaker Jase Bolger, “This bill is not a license to discriminate.”

Hmmm: Charlie Hebdo now has 25 times as many subscribers as before deadly attack. Put this under 'clip & save'.

Bastion, Last: By letting stand a lower court ruling, the Supreme Court has essentially said that the police could pretty much collect DNA wherever you may leave it. The ruling did not grant cops the right to compel cheek swabs without a court order. Gotta leave something for next time.

The Master:Warren [Buffett] buys cheap, and then he owns your ass... and he has been very successful at it.”

Bugged Bunnies: A DEA agent has testified under oath that allowing medically supervised marijuana use would result in rabbits stumbling about the countryside stoned. And that's a fact, because “I deal in science.” claimed special agent Fairbanks, noting that he had “seen rabbits too stoned to run away.” 
Porn O'Graph: It's different this time!