Two Minutes Until There Is No Pope in Rome

Utterly strange and terribly sad.

Today in History

…all those GOP racists got together for the first time.

CBSNews Reporter Sharyl Attkisson Is My Hero

RIGHT THIS SECOND, on Twitter, she is ripping the Administration a new one by methodically going point by point through every facet of the Benghazi disaster, using an answered/unanswered format.

It is UTTERLY devastating to read chronologically from the bottom, as a whole page.

I’ll put some of the Tweets up here…and pray to God they don’t mysteriously disappear tonight.

Integrity. She’s got it.

ths update: PJ Media’s Tatler strung them together for you.

Besides Dazzling TMZ, the Senate’s Only Member of the Hip-Hop Caucus

…stopped by the Washington Institute today for a Middle East discussion. (I hope Lurch was listening ~ it might help him out with “Kyrzakhstan” and other pesky countries.)

2016, baby.

When Did Colorado Turn In To California?

I may not be up on the latest research, but I have a *little* difficulty accepting that a 6 year old boy comprehends transgender issues and “identifies” as a girl…so his parents are of course suing his school so “she” can use the little girls room

The parents of a transgender 6-year-old have filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division because Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain banned the first-grader from using the girls’ restroom.

The child, Coy Mathis, was born male but identifies as female. She had attended the school since December 2011 before being pulled out by her parents.

“This is significant for both Colorado and nationally,” said Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, who is representing the family. “For Colorado, it is the first test of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act as related to access to bathrooms by transgender students.

I’m guessing Mom and Dad wanted a little girl.

They named their son “Coy” when he was born.

Speaking of Mom

“It’s important for us to talk about this, because a lot of people have been so afraid to be their true selves for so long,” Kathryn Mathis said. “They’ve known from very young children who they are but were afraid to tell. We want to help create a society where it’s OK to be who you are.”

Uh huh.

No 6 year old, and precious few 30 year olds, know who their “true selves” are.

We had A Good Storm Last Night

Lots of rain and fairly heavy wind gusts. Around 3:30am I heard a loud thump outside; a quick survey of the inside of the house showed no leaks.

When I left at 4:30, the rain still coming down in buckets, I was greeted by this in the driveway

whentreesattack

Oh yay.

Right dab schmack in the center of the rear window on the Passat.

Hurray for duct tape and plastic garbage bags.

There’s Street Cred and There’s People Who Wish They Had It

TMZ admits they found a Senator who actually has it when a little “gotcha” game blows up in their face.

Oh. SNAP.

Van Cliburn Is Dead

He lost his fight with bone cancer today, at the age of 78

But this performance lives, along with so many other marvelous memories he left for us.

It’s a video of his return to Moscow in 1962, playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1, his rendition of which four years before had stunned the world

… Cliburn’s performance at the competition finale of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 earned him a standing ovation lasting eight minutes. When it was time to announce a winner, the judges were obliged to ask permission of the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to give first prize to an American.

Is he the best?” Khrushchev asked. “Then give him the prize!

…and launched an classical pianist into the unexpected role of superstar American hero.

…But he remained little known outside music circles before arriving in Moscow in 1958 at a time when Cold War tensions were running high, coming just six months after the Soviet Union had launched its first Sputnik satellite.

Competing against 49 other pianists from 19 countries at the first Tchaikovsky International Piano and Violin Festival, the technically brilliant Cliburn created a sensation with the romantic sweep of his playing.

Trumpeted on the cover of Time magazine as “The Texan Who Conquered Russia,” the lanky, 6-foot-4 Cliburn was given a hero’s welcome in New York City with what was a first for a classical musician: a ticker-tape parade.

Like a rock star, Cliburn was besieged by screaming admirers in cities where he appeared. And after playing before audiences of more than 80,000 on two nights in Chicago, the city’s Elvis Presley Fan Club changed its name to the Van Cliburn Fan Club.

Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

He was as graceful in character as he was on the keyboard and we are so lucky to have had him.

To Continue With That “Decline in Human Intelligence” Theme for Just a Second More

Via Ebola, here’s someone’s humorous take on Uncle Joe’s “buy a shotgun ’cause it’s easier” advice.

There Have Been Articles Of Late On The Decline In Human Intelligence

And here’s a clear example

Miss Delaware Teen USA has resigned after allegations that a porn video of her has surfaced on the internet.

Though previously denying any such video existed, Melissa King, 18, officially gave up her crown today.

A spokesperson for the Miss Teen USA pageant released a statement saying: ‘I would like to confirm the Miss Delaware Teen USA pageant has received a resignation letter from Miss King’s attorney.’

It continues to amaze me how STUPID people are these days.

It really shouldn’t, I suppose, but sometimes my naturally cheery disposition and outlook clouds my perception.

How Dare You…

…remind us of how much money we are spending

Some members of Congress apparently don’t like to be reminded about how much debt the country continues to rack up.

During a House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday on the budget, two Democrats complained after House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling instructed that two monitors in the hearing room display a real-time running national debt clock.

California Rep. Maxine Waters and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison both issued complaints about the displays, according to video of the hearing.

A Quiz

See how well you do. (via Ace)

Somehow I got everything right.

I’d Laugh If I Wasn’t Crying

While I Applaud Their Obviously Successful Business Model

…I HATESES IT.

HATESES, HATESES, HATESES IT!!!!

In-N-Out’s Billionaire Heiress Explains Why Her Burger Joints Haven’t Expanded All Over America

Much to the chagrin of East Coasters, the folks at the helm of In-N-Out Burger haven’t expanded the chain all the way across America.

Why’s that?

The Orange Country Register managed to get a rare interview with with Lynsi Torres the 30-year-old owner and president of In-N-Out.

Oh, my Banglacola Kingdom for a Double-Double with grilled onions and CHEESE!!!

And a chocolate shake, of course.

Boehner on Fox Just Now

…speaking to the press.

“We should NOT have to move a THIRD bill before the Senate gets off their ass…”

BWAHAhahahaha!

I Eatses It Every Day

LOVESES my Chobani!

At Chobani, the Turkish King of Greek Yogurt

amdi Ulukaya sits in a restaurant in upstate New York, waggling a rolled-up slice of pizza, making bombastic pronouncements about yogurt. As the founder and chief executive of Chobani, the brand of Greek yogurt that has stormed the stainless steel refrigerators of coconut water drinkers and ancient grain eaters, he has some standing in the matter, although he’s actually Turkish.

The yogurt that most Americans ate for decades was a travesty, in his view: too thin, too sweet, too fake. “So horrible,” he says in his Turkish accent, his eyes bright against a lean face. “Terrible.” As he sees it, we were all snookered by big food companies that cared little for our taste buds or health. Greek yogurt’s high protein content makes it more filling, and it contains little or no fat. His doesn’t have preservatives, either. “There is no reason for us to put preservatives in the food,” Ulukaya says. “I would say to the big guys, ‘Watch out. You’d better change your ways. The consumer knows now, and the consumer will punish you if you don’t do the right thing.’?”

He has kind words for one competitor, albeit briefly. Fage, the Athens-based company that first brought Greek yogurt to the U.S. 15 years ago, “makes great yogurt,” he says. But when I start writing that down, he almost jumps out of his chair. “No, no, no,” he says, “Fage does not make great yogurt.” Then he laughs.

He can afford to pass out compliments. Chobani has made Ulukaya a billionaire, according to Bloomberg data. Five years ago Chobani had almost no revenue. This year, the company will sell more than $1 billion worth of yogurt, says Ulukaya, who’s the sole owner. Once a niche business, Greek yogurt now accounts for 36 percent of the $6.5 billion in total U.S. yogurt sales, according to investment firm AllianceBernstein (AB). Upstate New York, with its 28 plants owned by Chobani, Fage, Yoplait maker General Mills (GIS), and others, has become something like the Silicon Valley of yogurt.

But buried in the (admittedly GREAT) article is another sobering reminder of what you might call “The New York Mentality”‘s limitations…

…As orders rose to 1.2 million cases a week in 2011, Chobani found it harder to get enough milk. Because milk prices are largely controlled by the federal government, New York dairy farmers are reluctant to spend on herd expansions. Ulukaya wanted to branch out into different flavors and packages, but his sole plant was going all-out just to make enough product. In December, Ulukaya and Idaho Governor Butch Otter dedicated a $450 million plant in Twin Falls. At around a million square feet, it’s the largest yogurt plant in the world, Ulukaya says.

It will draw on an abundant milk supply; Idaho in recent years passed New York to become the third-largest milk-producing state.

The plant has the capacity to produce at least 1 million cases of yogurt weekly, many of them new products such as 3.5-oz. servings called Bites.

You stand still scratching your feds and the world will pass you by ~ New York (in all fairness, California, too) just hasn’t caught on, for all the air of worldly cleverness they wrap themselves in.

It’s a great, delicious American story.

A note for Greek yogurt lovers or those just entering the fray ~ part of the Chobani attraction besides the amazing taste and consistency is the presence of some pretty potent probiotics, ensuring a well rounded, amazingly healthy little cup o’ yum. They haven’t been stripped out in the manufacturing process in order to make a more shelf stable or palatable to the American tongue product. However, with the BIG guys entering the ring now, smelling dollars to be made (I mean Dannon, etc.) there ARE “Greek” yogurts just hitting shelves which are pale imitations of the authentic. Stonyfield organic, which owns Oikos, has sold out their name to be shared with Dannon (BOTH of which are in dairy cases so far) and, if you compare the two labels, the original Stoneyfield Oikos is brimming with all the bacillus and the Dannon cup reads like any other homogeneous cup of mass produced glop.

Buyer beware.

Scott Adams Cries Out to the Heavens in a Blog Post

…with a simple, heartrending title:

I Want My Cheese

…When I walk into the store, and realize I didn’t bring my reusable bags, I feel like an absent-minded moron. This is how I usually feel during the day, so it’s no big deal.

Then I start looking for cheese, only to discover that some genius in Safeway’s marketing department thinks that cheese should be spread out over about seven different locations throughout the store. You have your cottage cheese here, your artisanal cheeses there, your shredded cheeses somewhere else, and so on. There is no logical order to any of it. Five minutes into my shopping, I am filled with rage and I feel manipulated. I assume someone at Safeway decided that inconveniencing me would somehow make me buy more shit because I end up walking down every frickin’ aisle in the store looking for my cheese. It’s not the inconvenience that bugs me so much as the feeling of manipulation.

When I’m ready to pay, I see long lines at the human checkout stands and short lines at the self-checkout. I know from experience that using the self-checkout, which was designed by a crack team of practical jokers, sadists, and monkeys that have been abused by their trainers, will bring me to frustration. I know I will inadvertently move my bag before the system believes I should and it will proclaim to all nearby shoppers that I might be a shoplifter. I will feel humiliated, incompetent, stupid, and shamed…

Read it.

Hey ~ You All Know Where We Stand on the Goat Issue

There’s no neGOATiating.

Period.

Normally One Would Shriek “Fiduciary Malfeasance!!!” at the Top of Their Little Lungs Had the Name Been “Madoff”

and not “Emanuel” when cooking up such righteous schemes ~ divesting their fund from stable, consistent money earners, who, thanks to the local homeboy, have nowhere to go but UP:

January 22, 2013
Teacher pension fund divests from gun makers

One of the city’s pension funds has quietly voted to give Mayor Rahm Emanuel what he wanted, moving to divest itself of any interest in assault weapon manufacturers.

But only a miniscule $260,000 in stock was involved. And the step did not apply to ownership in retailers such as Wal-Mart, which arguably would be far more meaningful.

The action came last week when, in a previously unreported step, the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund board voted unanimously to sell its holdings in Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and two other firms. The fund overall has roughly $9.5 billion in assets, with the divested stock representing about 0.003 percent of the retirement system’s portfolio.

In a statement, board President Jay Rehak said the board is sensitive to its fiduciary duty and the “reputational, regulatory and statutory risks that may impact the shareholder value of assault weapon manufacturers and want to minimize those risks.”

But, with the price of most gun makers’ stock rising lately, the fund also had something else on its mind.

Especially when a mere month later…the “UNEXPECTED” (SHOCKA! SURPRISE!) word rears its ugly head.

Chicago teachers’ pension fund takes unexpected dip
February 21, 2013

The fiscal cliff facing Chicago Public Schools got significantly larger today, with the release of a report disclosing that the cash-strapped system will have to come up with an extra $400 million next year — $70 million more than had been expected — to pay teacher pensions unless something changes.

The report, below, is the annual actuarial analysis of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund. Presented to the board of the $9.4 billion agency today, the report discloses that on a market-value basis, the fund had a return of minus 0.4 percent on investment for the year ended June 30.

On the four-year asset smoothing basis that the fund uses, the return was 1 percent.

But either figure is well short of the 8 percent return on investments that the retirement system assumes.

And that means CPS will have to come up with an extra payment next year unless the law requiring it to make certain actuarial-based contributions is changed.

“ASSUMES” an EIGHT PERCENT RETURN?!?!?!? THESE DAYS? AND you smugly dumped the few moneymaking gun stocks you had?!

Gotta be a Democratic city.

And we all know what they say about “assume”. Well, besides “ASSUME the position”, I mean.

And Now a Word About Late Night Cat Dancing and Its Consequences

In Latin, of course. (Hey, it’s our duty to be highbrow.)

Hic non defectus est, sed cattus minxit desuper nocte quadam. Confundatur pessimus cattus qui minxit super librum istum in nocte Daventrie, et consimiliter omnes alii propter illum. Et cavendum valde ne permittantur libri aperti per noctem ubi cattie venire possunt.

Pretty impressive, eh? I can’t take credit for the rant against the “confounded pissant cattus” (which I think translates to “stinking feline”). No, cats were pissing off (literally and figuratively) hardworking folks ages ago…Middle Ages ago:

…A Deventer scribe, writing around 1420, found his manuscript ruined by a urine stain left there by a cat the night before. He was forced to leave the rest of the page empty, drew a picture of a cat and cursed the creature with the following words:

[ths: Insert Latin passage seen above]

[Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night. Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book during the night in Deventer and because of it many others [other cats] too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.]

Wise words, as anyone with a cat in the house will attest to.

There’s a photo of the blemished page, complete with kitty illustration AND stain (!), at this WONDERFUL blog post titled: “Paws, Pee and Mice: Cats among Medieval Manuscripts.

It starts off with a photo of a recently found 15th century manuscript, complete with…inky cat paw tracks across the pages…

Jangling your keyboard seems kinda quaint by comparison, doesn’t it?

Go read. It’s FUN.

So, Say You’re An Army DI, Who Gets Handed a Note By a Recruit

Weird enough, eh? That’s nothin’.

Wait’ll you read the note:

(looney82 via imgur)

Cleverness of the joke at the end not-withstanding, I think they might oughta leave the lad to be an “Army of One”, looking from the OUTSIDE in, capiche?

The Horsemeat Mess Just Continues To Grow

Now it’s spread to Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs.

I imagine there’s a whole lot of testing going on here now, too.

The Cult Of Personality

Great Leader has to show up everywhere.

These narcissists make me sick, they really do.

It’s a Shame He’s Not in Such a Pissy Snit About the Taliban’s Behaviour

Them being the perfect, hairy, chivalrous gents they are universally acknowleged to be.

Afghan president to expel U.S. special forces from key province

(Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai has given U.S. special forces two weeks to leave a key battleground province after some U.S. soldiers there were found to have tortured or even killed innocent people, the president’s spokesman said on Sunday.

The decision by Karzai could further complicate negotiations between the United States and Afghanistan over the presence of Americans troops in the country once most NATO forces leave by the end of 2014.

Speaking at a news conference in Kabul, Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi said villagers in Wardak province had lodged a series of complaints about operations conducted by U.S. special forces and a group of Afghans working with them.

“Waaaah! The Americans were mean to me, ” sure makes the mundane, every day executing of women in soccer stadiums or lopping hands off in the village square pale in significance.

“State Run Media”

CBS’s Bill Plante calls it:

…HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Bill Plante, you’ve been patrolling that building since Ronald Reagan. Does the White House press look a little self-involved, a little whiny as I said earlier, complaining about this Tiger incident?

BILL PLANTE, CBS NEWS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We’ve gotten used to being called whiny lapdogs. I’ve heard it for 30 years. But this is not about a picture of Tiger Woods. This is about access to the president. And access to the president has been cut and pushed and curtailed over every administration I’ve covered.

And here’s the nub of it, Howie: this administration has the tools to reach people on their own. They don’t need us as much. And to the extent that they’re able to do that, they’re undercutting the First Amendment, which guarantees a free press through many voices. If they put out their own material, it’s state-run media.

And thank YOU, “MEDIA”, for getting this imperialist elected. You do remember that part?

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