Archive for January 13, 2012

I Can’t Afford a Lobbyist

Where I’m at:

I won’t be in D.C. physically but I will be virtually, emotionally and spiritually.

January 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM Leave a comment

Americans: You’re Paying For a Very Expensive Bat Mitzvah This Weekend

If you are unfamiliar with Matt Taibbi or you don’t read him on a regular basis, make a resolution right now to change that.  The guy is a monster writer.  Let me tease you with the opening paragraphs of his most recent great read:

If there was ever a news story that crystalized the moral dementia of modern Wall Street in one little vignette, this is it.

Newspapers in Colorado today are reporting that the elegant Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado,  will be closed to the public from today through Monday at noon.

(This is the Hotel Jerome:

I “collect” old hotels.  Ten-or-so-years ago Mr. SayitAintSoAlready and I took a trip to Aspen.  I called ahead to inquire about making reservations at the Hotel Jerome.  When I learned that they only rented rooms for 2-day increments, I had to let go of the thought of staying there. Forking over the cost of one night was going to be a stretch; there was no way we could afford two.)

Why? Because some local squire has apparently decided to rent out all 94 rooms of the hotel for three-plus days for his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah.

The hotel’s general manager, Tony DiLucia, would say only that the party was being thrown by a “nice family,” but newspapers are now reporting that the Daddy of the lucky little gal is one Jeffrey Verschleiser, currently an executive with Goldman, Sachs.

At first,  I couldn’t remember where I knew that name from. But then I looked it up and saw an explosive Atlantic magazine story, published last year, called, “E-mails Suggest Bear Stearns Cheated Clients Out Of Millions.” And then I remembered that piece, and it hit me: Jeffrey Verschleiser is one of the biggest assholes in the entire world!

Wanna keep reading?  Voila:  Everything You Need to Know About Wall Street in One Brief Tale.

January 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM Leave a comment

How Fido Keeps His Feet From Freezing

It’s break time (mostly for dog lovers — sorry kitty people).

As you can tell from the picture above, I’m a dog lover.  (That would be Mr. Albert or “Al,” our now four-year-old English Setter when he was a pup, immediately after he swallowed a mouthful of mud.)  And, being a dog lover, this explains something I’ve wondered about over the years:

Domestic dogs' paws are well suited to the cold

Dogs can keep warm on frozen ground, thanks to a specialised circulation system in their paws, say scientists.

[...]

Arctic foxes and wolves are well known for their adaptations that help them to regulate a constant body temperature in cold conditions.

revious studies showed that the canines can keep the tissue in their feet from freezing even in temperatures of -35C.

Dr Hiroyoshi Ninomiya and his team at the Yamazaki Gakuen University in Tokyo, Japan, set out to discover if this ability was also common to domestic dogs.

Using electron microscopes, the researchers were able to examine the internal structure of dogs’ paws.

They found that the very close proximity of the arteries to the veins in the footpad meant that heat was conducted from one blood vessel to another.

So when blood in the paw’s veins cooled on contact with the air or ground, warm blood pumping from the heart – through the neighbouring artery – transferred its heat.

The blood was therefore “warmed up” before it returned to the body – preventing the dog’s body from cooling down, whilst also keeping the paws at a constant temperature.

[...]

“When we found that dogs also have such an excellent system in their paws, we were excited.”

Anatomist Dr Sarah Williams from the Royal Veterinary College says the evidence could be a revelation for dog experts.

“Up until now, it was not considered necessary for domestic species to posses such a specialisation.

“This discovery has interesting evolutionary implications, and may suggest that the ancestors of the domestic dog lived in cold climates [in order] to bring about such an adaptation.”

Cool interesting.

 

 

January 13, 2012 at 5:49 PM Leave a comment

Haiti: Two Years After the Quake, the 99% and the 1%

Yesterday (January 12, 2012) marked the two-year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti.

USAToday put together a slideshow marking the anniversary.  Here it is: For Haitian Earthquake Victims, Recovery is Very Slow.

This is the first photo in the series:

Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery, AP

Foreign Policy magazine put a slideshow together too.  Here it is: Haiti’s One Percent.

This is the first photo in that series:

Photo: Paolo Woods/Institute

There are no words.

 

 

January 13, 2012 at 4:48 PM Leave a comment

Good Day at the Food Bank

Just got home from my usual Friday morning at the food bank.

 

It was a fairly uneventful morning but it was good.  We had four volunteers (the minimum required to “walk” people through while simultaneously keeping the shelves stocked) and we gave food to approximately 20 families (including one family of 12).

The best part was that aside for spaghetti noodles and spaghetti sauce, the shelves were full.  The donations we received between Thanksgiving and Christmas are serving us well.  Unfortunately, people generally don’t think about donating to food banks between January and November.  While things look good now, it won’t be long (two or three weeks) before we’re again struggling to provide the basic basics, like canned beans and tuna.

So many days are really dreary but when the shelves are full, it’s a good day.  And today was a good day.

January 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM Leave a comment

Romney Flip-Flopping on the Number of Jobs He Created

Geezus, Romney seems to flip-flop on literally everything:

Everyone has probably heard the corny “I once caught a fish this big” joke. A guy boasts about the size of the fish he reeled in, but when pressed, he gradually reduces the actual size of his catch. The little comedic routine is about exaggeration.

I wonder if Mitt Romney has heard it.

As recently as two weeks ago, Romney had a fairly specific number in mind when it came to the jobs created by his vulture-capitalist firm.

“I’m very happy in my former life; we helped create over 100,000 new jobs.”

A few days ago, the total dropped.

“People here in the state know that in the work that I had, we started a number of businesses, invested in many others, and that over all created tens of thousands jobs.”

This morning, the Romney campaign unveiled a new ad, which moved the goal post again. Greg Sargent picked up on the new message:

The ad claims Romney only created “thousands of jobs,” which is the latest shift in his campaign’s claims.

So, over the course of two weeks, Romney has gone from “over 100,000 jobs” to “tens of thousands” to “thousands.”

Who knows what the number will be come November.

By the way, the picture above is his official Massachusetts state portrait.  See the folder sitting on the desk?  That represents the health care bill he passed while he was the governor there.  That’s how proud he was of that accomplishment back then. Now?  Not so much.

January 13, 2012 at 10:26 AM Leave a comment

Uh Oh — Not the Best Place for a Pro-Scott Walker Sign

Oops:

Photo: WCLO

A Janesville sign company may be regretting its decision on where to place a billboard touting the job creation efforts of [Wisconsin's Republican] Governor Scott Walker. The sign was briefly put up in front of the shuttered General Motors plant in Janesville this week, but was taken down quickly after groups started pointing out the unfortunate placement.

The GM plant closed in 2009, resulting in thousands of lost jobs in the Janesville area. The plant was shut down before Walker was elected governor.

The “Governor Scott Walker – Creating Jobs for Wisconsin” billboard was put up as part of a pro-Walker ad campaign being run by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. The group paid for a series of signs in Rock County, but was not involved in their placement.

More…

January 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM Leave a comment


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