Archive for July 15, 2012

America, You’re a Goner

Last week I posted about this:

Amtrak Unveils $151B Plan For Northeast High  Speed Rail By 2040

My point was to say WTF.  The U.S. is set to introduce high-speed rail in the northeast corridor in 28 years?  28 years?!  And we’re supposed to be wowed by that?

(Image via

Fast forward to tonight and I see this:

Morocco [MOROCCO!] Eyes 40% Renewable Energy Reliance By 2020

America:  Your corporate-owned “news” media is screwing you so bad you won’t know your country is in the trash heap until it’s too late.

July 15, 2012 at 8:19 PM 1 comment

Shark Sucks Fish Out of Fish Net

Gotta love the animals.  While they’re falling prey to it, they’re also making the most of the world we’re creating.  They’re smarter than we think.

In Indonesia’s Cendrawasih Bay, whale sharks often congregate around bagan (lift net) fishing platforms to eat the small silverside baitfish that the fishers are targeting. Sometimes the sharks swim right into the nets and become entangled. They have also learned how to “suck” the fish out of holes in the nets.


July 15, 2012 at 6:43 PM Leave a comment

You-Can’t-Make-This-Up Headline of the Day

What does one say about this headline?  I mean, it’s gobsmackingly unbelievable.  Karl Rove apparently has no self-awareness or sense of how he’s perceived:

Rove accuses Obama of

using ‘gutter politics’ against Romney


July 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM 1 comment

How About a Coffee Maker in Your Car?

If this is happening in Italy, it won’t be long before it happens here in the U.S.

Oh how those Italians love their espresso. And starting in October, they’ll be able to have a doppio on the go in the new Fiat 500L.

At the presentation of the car to the global press in Turin this month, Fiat announced that the 500L will be “the first standard-production car in the world to offer a true espresso coffee machine.”

The espresso maker will be an option in the new, bigger, four-door 500L that goes on sale in Italy in October and in the rest of Europe shortly after. (Think of the 500L as the Fiat 500 equivalent of the Mini Cooper Countryman — there’s even a vague similarity in silhouette.)

Fiat says the machine “is perfectly integrated in the car with a deck designed expressly by Fiat.” The espresso machine, which comes with matching cups, is being made for Fiat by Italian coffee importer Lavazza — known as “Italy’s favorite coffee” — and uses the company’s “A Modo Mio” coffee pods. Lavazza also runs a Starbucks-like coffee chain.


Hello.  We need to regulate this s*it and get to a place where driving is seen as serious business.  What’s next?  Microwaves and washing machines?  And we think we’ve got problems now with people texting.

This is literally insane.

July 15, 2012 at 4:07 PM 2 comments

Feds Will Try to Protect Whales Off Coast of San Francisco

Some good news for a change:

(Image via

Feds to Reroute SF Bay Ships to Protect Whales

Scientists studying the carcass of a 47-foot fin whale that washed up on a beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore last month found the creature’s spine and ribs severed, likely from the propeller of one of the huge cargo ships that sail those waters.

There have been many victims of such accidents in recent years as migrating blue, fin and humpback whales have been lured close to California’s shore by plentiful krill, the shrimp-like organisms they eat. All three species are endangered.

Now, after a two-year effort spurred by the uptick in accidents, federal maritime officials have approved a plan to protect whales in and around San Francisco Bay. It includes rerouting shipping traffic and establishing better ways to track whale locations.

The changes crafted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shipping industry representatives, whale researchers and the Coast Guard will likely take effect next year, after a final review by the United Nations International Maritime Organization.

“In 2010 it really struck home when a female blue whale carrying a calf was found dead on the beach,” said Maria Brown, NOAA’s superintendent for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. “And blue whales’ numbers are so small — to lose a female and a new whale coming into the population really sent home the message that we needed to look at the whale strike issue.”


Looking at the map above, it looks like whales pack that whole area.  Hope this works.

July 15, 2012 at 3:49 PM Leave a comment

Egomaniac Romney Outraged That Anyone Would Criticize Him

I promise this will be my last post about Romney today — I just couldn’t resist this one. It’s a comment made to a post over at and I think it’s brilliantly insightful:

(Image via Charles Dharapak / AP)

I’m not a GOP operative (thank God), but I do work on Wall Street (the industry, not the geographic location) and I think it’s worth noting that Romney’s reaction to the Bain Storm is very much of a piece with the way assorted hedge fund managers, bankers and other Masters of the Universe have responded to even the slightest criticism from Obama — with as much shock as outrage.

Over the past 20-25 years these guys have gotten used to extreme deference from BOTH parties (think Cory Booker and Ed Rendell) and like to think of themselves as rational beings who are far, far above the partisan sandbox in Washington, up there in the financial heavens, doing the Lord’s Work — to quote Lloyd Blankfein.

I’ve had enough contact with the PE guys to know they particularly see themselves in a heroic light — as the saviors of capitalism from the quasi-socialist clutches of entrenched management, the unions, outside pressure groups, and the other “stakeholders” of the big public corporations (the PE guys really detest that concept).

What’s more, they’re usually insulated enough from normal human reality that they can assume all “reasonable” people see things the same way. And when you’ve got as much money to spend on campaign contributions, endowed chairs, wingnut welfare, etc. as they do, an awful lot of people are going to see things your way, or at least tell you that they do.

Point is, Mitt is not only congenitally blind to the optics of all this, he also appears — to quote Sonny from the Godfather — to be taking it very, very personally. That’s the only way I can explain his incredibly bizarre decision to spend the entire afternoon on TV [on Friday] talking about it, which is about the best way imaginable to keep the feeding frenzy going.

You’d think after a gubernatorial race and two runs for president, Romney would have adjusted his attitude, or at least figured out a strategy for dealing with it. But he apparently can’t — the sense of his own rectitude (upon which his sense of entitlement rests) just won’t allow it.

What’s odder is that the entire Romney campaign seems to have the same inability to engage on Bain on any other level than personal indignation. And indignation, as you correctly note, is for whimps.

My guess is that this reflects the same rigid, top-down, sycophantic management structure that Wall Street loves — which if it didn’t cause the 2008 financial crisis, a least contributed to it. The campaign can’t really be any cooler or capable than Mitt is himself — which, when it comes to dealing with criticism, clearly ain’t much.

I shudder to think what that would mean if Mitt ends up in charge of the U.S. government.

I think this guy (or gal) nailed it.

July 15, 2012 at 2:46 PM 1 comment

John McCain Didn’t Like What he Saw in Romney’s Tax Returns

Rahm Emanuel was on This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning and this is what he said about the McCain campaign vetting Mitt Romney for VP back in 2008:

He has only released one year, to the McCain campaign he released 23 years. And he’s telling the people, ‘I’m not going to give you what I gave John McCain’s people in 2008.’ And when he gave them 23 years, John McCain’s campaign looked at it and went, ‘Let’s go with Sarah Palin.’ So whatever’s in there is far worse than just the first year.


I’m sure it is.  Romney’s hiding something.  I suspect there are years during which he paid zero taxes.

July 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM 2 comments

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