Friday, December 14, 2012

The 501(c)4 Groups Are A Colossal Dark Joke

Tax their ass:
In the confidential document, Crossroads GPS acknowledged that it intended to influence elections. “Consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the organization may, in the future, develop and/or distribute independent political communications,” it said. But, the group added, “[a]ny such activity will be limited in amount, and will not constitute the organization’s primary purpose.”

The group eventually reported over $70 million in election spending to the Federal Election Commission in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Most of that money went to opposing Democrats, and, as ProPublica points out, the group also announced it spent an additional $50 million on anti-Obama ads outside the window during which it was required to report spending to the FEC.

In the 2010 filing, the group also offered a breakdown of its planned activities, saying 50 percent of its efforts would go to “public education,” 30 percent would go to “activity to influence legislation and policymaking,” and 20 percent would go to “research.”

...Crossroads GPS is organized as a 501(c)4 “social welfare” organization. As such, it is allowed to raise unlimited sums of money without disclosing its donors. Such groups have become popular vehicles for political spending in the last two federal election cycles.

Nani Understands An Intuitive Sense Is Helpful In Learning Physics

Today's big question is: "What is Nani doing these days?"

Turns out, she's learning to juggle!

(Nani's done other interesting stuff, like getting murdered here....:

Spike Full EpisodesSpike Video ClipsSpike on Facebook

And wielding a sledgehammer here.)

Trouble With The SubContractors

More signs that PG&E doesn't know what it's doing. Glad I live in SMUD territory!:
Under California law, PG&E must conduct inspections every three years of all underground enclosures used to house cables, transformers and switches.

...PG&E has experienced a string of explosions and fires in underground vaults in San Francisco, including a corrosion-related 2005 blast in a vault near Union Square that sent a manhole cover hurtling 30 feet and seriously injured a passer-by.

...PG&E officials say an employee tipped supervisors that a colleague was certifying underground electrical switches and transformers in the San Jose area as safe without ever inspecting them. A probe of the accusation has led to the dismissals or suspensions of 14 workers and the finding that about two dozen inspections had not been carried out and another 50 were suspect, PG&E said.

...PG&E compliance manager Jadwindar Singh told the commission that the company had identified 401 inspections that it suspects were not carried out as advertised in the San Jose division, which includes Gilroy, Morgan Hill and Milpitas. PG&E said it had fired one contract worker for allegedly failing to make the inspections and lying about it.

Once Again, The Gun Crowd Benefits

It's important to remember, with these various gun slaughters that we've seen of late, that there are a number of right-wing groups (like the NRA) and merchants (like gun shop owners) that benefit from them. Each slaughter creates uncertainty, which just provokes people to BUY MORE GUNS! It's that simple.

The answer is also pretty simple. Stop buying more guns!

Laws by themselves won't help much - there are just too many guns out there. The only way out is to stop playing this game. People have to do this for themselves.

When Exxon workers were sent into the Alaskan shoreline wilderness to combat the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, the only way that seemed to work to prevent bear/people conflicts was to make sure that people weren't armed. Armed nakedness made people more prudent about avoiding trouble.

Like "The Compleat Guide for Volkswagen Repair" noted many years ago, we'd all drive more safely if we were strapped onto our front bumpers like Aztec sacrifices.

No arms is the only good way to go. Guns almost always enhance the danger.

Weather In NM Today

Albuquerque has gotten less than 2/3 of its normally arid precipitation this year, so more (0.05 inches so far today) is very welcome!

When You Die Overseas, Anonymity Somehow Mitigates The Pain

Base jumping has its dangers:
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz - Thirty seven-year old Eiliv Ruud of Foss Fallskjeriy, Norway died Dec. 4 while base jumping at Salt Trail Canyon, a tributary of the Little Colorado River.

Investigators believe the victim began his base jump from a height of approximately 1000 feet above the canyon floor. Witnesses said it looked like Ruud traveled about 500 feet when a gust of wind blew him into the canyon wall.

...The first deputy to arrive contacted a man and woman who traveled from Norway with Ruud to base jump at Salt Trail Canyon. The two said they were standing with Ruud at the edge of the canyon and all three planned to jump. When Ruud hit the wall, his companions said it looked like one of his parachutes deployed but failed to work properly causing Rudd to spiral out of control. They said they heard the sound of what they believed to be Ruud striking the canyon floor.

Good Things Sometimes Happen In Washington, D.C.

We're finally getting Lieberman's brand of evil out of the Senate! There is a role for partisanship polarization in politics, and Lieberman's ultimate exile demonstrates that, after twelve years of chaos-making Republican shock doctrine - no, make that 18 years, since the 1994 Congress - no, make that 34 years since Proposition 13 - that the needs of the American public will finally start getting some much-needed attention from our political elites.:
It was a lonely farewell for Joe Lieberman.

When the senior senator from Connecticut stood to give his parting address Wednesday afternoon, just one of his colleagues, Delaware Democrat Tom Carper, was with him on the Senate floor.

...A few more senators arrived during the 20-minute speech, but even by the end Lieberman was very much alone — which is how it has been for much of his 24-year tenure.

...Lieberman was excommunicated by his party (he won as an independent in 2006 after losing the Democratic primary) and retired this year rather than face probable defeat. Yet he received little love from the Republicans, either, because despite his apostasies on key issues — the Iraq war, above all — he remained a fairly reliable vote for the Democrats.

...And so it was a man with few political allies who bid the chamber farewell. “I regret to say as I leave the Senate that the greatest obstacle that I see standing between us and the brighter American future we all want is right here in Washington,” he said. “It’s the partisan polarization of our politics which prevents us from making the principled compromises on which progress in a democracy depends.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Made The Popular Answers Page This Week At B3ta!

Made the "best" answers page at the British humor Web Site this week! I submitted three answers this week, but only one of them made it to the "popular" answers page.

I made "best" page last month too, with my story about Mt. Hood. I must be on a roll!

Here is this week's question:
Made me laugh
Rob asks: Has anything happened recently that's made you laugh? Share your stories with us - we need the joy.
My response was:
Break time at the Haunted House
I was one of several dancing zombies at a theater remodeled as a Haunted House this last Halloween. The episodic, vigorous hunt for brains was hard work, of course, and we were resting between waves of visitors. One of the Haunted House guides was a teenage girl dressed as a cat - cat whiskers, cat ears, cat tail. She sprawled face down on the stage. A teenage boy reached over and playfully lifted up her little cat tail. "Stop!" she shouted. "You've got to buy me dinner first!"

The Rich Girls Of Alaska

Greater degree of corruption there than in Mexico:
The continuing move of the entire Palin family into reality television careers is an amusing downfall story, but it took a serious turn today with the news that the state of Alaska had provided $354,348 in subsidies to Bristol Palin’s most recent venture into the genre, her Lifetime show Bristol Palin: Life’s A Tripp, which had such dreadful ratings it was yanked from its slot after two episodes.

...If the purpose of film and television production credits is to keep jobs in-state or to convince companies that otherwise might not have produced shows in a state to consider filming there, it’s not remotely clear why Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp would have been a good candidate for those credits. Alaska is Palin’s childhood home. ... Alaska was the most logical place for her to do it, even absent a subsidy program. That the show got tax credits from the state suggests more an eagerness to distribute them to whatever project came along than a real effort to attract new and unexpected business to the state.

The Rich Girls Of Mexico

E.'s Ex's Obituary

Time moves on:
Fremont, NH: Adrien G. “George” Valcourt, age 72, of Fremont, NH and formerly of Haverhill, MA and Sacramento, CA, died Friday, September 21, 2012, at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Portsmouth, NH.

Born in Haverhill, MA, son of the late Adrian H. & Felice (Robillard) Valcourt, he graduated from Haverhill Trade School with the Class of 1957. He entered the United States Air Force in 1959 and served for twenty-six years until he retired as a Chief Master Sergeant in 1985. Highly decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, he was receipient of the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Force Comendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Vietnam Service Medal with six bronze Service Stars, the Good Conduct Medal and several humanitarian service awards. After his retirement, he worked as a Master Electrician for the Sacramento School Department at the Los Rios Community College from 1985 to 2000.

Joe The Plumber Watch

Easy to see the deterioration and cynicism that comes from living in a van in a motel parking lot. He was disappointed that I wasn't interested in gawking at the wares in a notorious Sacramento cruising spot. I was surprised he wasn't more aware that if we both know about that area, the cops surely do too. No point in tempting fate!

Ridiculous YouTube Compendia

Civilization never really began before YouTube, don't you think?

This fellow assembled five compendia of ridiculous YouTube video snippets. Here are two complete videos below of some of the best:

And even though it wasn't in any of the compendia, no one can beat Miss Teen South Carolina 2007, so here she is too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

London Signs

I like Albuquerque signs. Glad to see others in the UK have the same sense of humor I do.

'Spirals', With Tucson Regional Ballet's Brittany DeGroft

Mass Humboldt Squid Suicide At Santa Cruz

These are amazing creatures that I can forsee one day inheriting the Earth. But first, they need to stop doing this:
Legions of big predatory squid have gathered along the Northern California coast, where they are stranding themselves on Santa Cruz beaches by the hundreds in a mysterious frenzy of suicide.

The jumbo invertebrates, known as Humboldt squid, are far north of their normal habitat in the warmer waters of Baja California and along the west coast of South America.

...The presence of this particular species is not likely to make scuba divers happy. Humboldt squid, so named because they were first discovered in the Humboldt Current in South America, are also known in Spanish as diablo rojo, or red devil, because they have a reputation for aggression. The species, which are among the largest carnivorous squid in the world, often approach and sometimes even grab scuba divers.

"They are not afraid to approach divers and touch them. They'll grab you with their arms and try to figure out what you are," said Rosen, adding that the sea creatures display unusual intelligence. "It can make people a little uncomfortable. With a squid that big, it's nothing to scoff at, but there has been no documentation of them trying to eat a human. They are just curious."

Some scientists believe the squid are provoked by divers wearing reflective gear or holding flashing lights.

The ability of the animals to change color is another reason for the devilish reputation, Rosen said. In the presence of other squid, they will flash from white to red and back in a remarkable imitation of a strobe light.

The species are believed to have first ventured up to the Central Coast from the Sea of Cortez in 2000. Scientists with the Gilly lab believe they move north during El NiƱo weather conditions, which are in effect this year. It is believed that the water to the south becomes too warm for the squid. Climate change could be accelerating the warming process, which would explain why there have been more recent squid sightings.

Lynette Subs At A Fashion Shop

A Plague Of Aliens

From leehardcastle at B3ta.

Psy - Gangnam Style

"Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins" - Leonard Nimoy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Right-Wind Meme Smackdown

It's amazing how ALL the right wing zealots fell for this stoopid piece of crap and how hard it is to fix the damage:
According to the latest meme ricocheting around the conservative blogosphere and Fox News, almost three-quarters of the new jobs created in the past five months have been government jobs.

The figure, first reported Friday by the social conservative news website, has immediatly gained traction on the right.

...But this is much ado about nothing as the 73 percent figure is patently dishonest and misleading malarky. CNS’ Terence Jeffrey arrived at the figure by comparing the change in the total number of people employed in June through November to the change in the number of people employed in government jobs over the same period.

...Why five months? It’s sort of an unusual amount of time to look for a trend, if you think about it. Why not six? Looking at the very same data tables Jeffrey links to in his post, it’s clear he cherry-picked June as the start date because it had the lowest number of government jobs all year, thus making the increase through November look bigger.

...If Jeffrey had started his analysis from the beginning of the year, he would have seen that government employment is actually down for the year, from 20,583,000 in January to 20,559,000 in November. But an honest look at the numbers would conclude they fluctuate significantly month-to-month with no clear trend in either direction.

RIP, Polly Beth

You were the eldest of the Lewis clan (our neighbors and closest playmates when we were kids), and so I never really knew you, but I am sad to hear that you are no longer with us.


Pauline Elizabeth “Polly Beth” was born on September 21, 1940 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and went to be with her Lord and Savior on December 10, 2012 in Brownwood, Texas.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Reverend James “Jim” Holloway in 2008; father, James W. Lewis in 1973; mother, Vivian Pauline Dooley-Lewis in 2001, and brother, Walter E. Lewis in 2009. Pauline is survived by her sons, James Holloway of Albuquerque, NM, Robert Holloway and wife Lisa of Maracay, Venezuela, William Holloway of Odessa, TX and Alex Holloway of Brownwood, TX; daughters, Dawn Gibson and husband Michael of Albuquerque, NM, and Anissa Weekley and husband Kevin of Grand Junction, CO; brothers, James Lewis Jr. and wife Roberta of Los Lunas, NM, Joseph Lewis and wife Marilyn of Edgewood, NM and John Lewis of Alamogordo, NM; sisters, Winky Gibson and husband John of Deming, NM and Kathy Heffran and husband Mike of Deming, NM; eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren; many other family and friends who loved and will miss her.

Sign That There Is A Mouse In The Basement

I was puzzled why the fleas in the basement continue to persist. What can they be eating? There's no prey down there....

Last week, because of the rain, I missed putting out the bag of garbage for the weekly pickup. Not wanting to leave the trash all week in the garbage can, because the homeless people will dismember the garbage bag, I tossed the bag into the basement for safekeeping. BUT, the bag was dismembered anyway - by some ghostly, unseen presence....

Blogging Temporarily Interrupted By Lady Gaga's Toothbrush

I'm agog over a toothbrush I saw in Rite-Aid last night. It plays two (count 'em, two) Lady Gaga songs. One was 'Bad Romance': the other one, I don't know. Nevertheless, I'm thunderstruck by the many possibilities of singing toothbrushes.