Friday, January 29, 2010

Lofty Thirfty Thoughts...From Paris

"This rehearsal space smells like a thrift store--which is to say it smells like dust and history and magic." --Chris Richards. I read this quote recently, and it lead me to the memory of a Thrift store of which I am familiar. I confess. On occasion, I have recycled my kids once expensive barely used clothing to a thrift store for sale. I have gotten a modest little check for their beautiful once-worn Easter and holiday outfits; outfits I paid a fortune for at Neiman Marcus. Someone I don't know, bought them at the Thrift store and got a fantastic deal. Because of their purchase, I was able to release my guilt, and a ridiculously expensive one time purchase was forbidden to transform into a wasteful end. I also confess I have never purchased anything from a Thrift Store. I'm not proud of this. I've just been historically non-lofty in my purchases. Thrift. An interesting word. One meaning of thrift is "Wise economy in management of money and resources." Thrift also means "Vigorous growth of living things." Vigorous growth and wise economy in management of money. Thrift. It's a lofty vigorous and wise goal.

You work for her.

Taxpayers paid $101,000 for Pelosi's

 in-flight 'food, booze'...

It reads like a dream order for a wild frat party: Maker's Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey's Irish Crème, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey … and Corona beer.

But that single receipt makes up just part of the more than $101,000 taxpayers paid for "in-flight services" – including food and liquor, for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trips on Air Force jets over the last two years. That's almost $1,000 per week.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=123472

Jaguar 75th Anniversary

Interesting

Air Traffic Delays Now More Costly For America Than HurricanesThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced that, from 2000 to 2008, airline flight delays took more from America's pocketbook than the combined cost of every hurricane in the country.

Peggy nails it again.

[noonan]

The Obama Contradiction

DECLARATIONS
By Peggy Noonan
Washington is sick and broken—and it can solve all our problems.

http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-opinion-commentary.html

For Peter

Fred-thompson-bourbonSometimes we fear what we should love (that’s my sweeping generalization for the day). Take bourbon, for example. Many people shy away from this historic, essential, and completely American spirit. Because it has a bit of a tough guy reputation, and is known to carry a bit of a wallop at times (then again, so does a really good kiss), folks often avoid bringing a good bottle of bourbon home. This is a crying shame, and a situation that hopefully will be at least somewhat alleviated by Fred Thompson’s new book Bourbon: 50 Rousing Recipes for a Classic American Spirit (published by Harvard Common Press, 2010).

O wrongfully claimed SC had ok foreigners making political contributions. He is the one that took foreign dollars. CBS joins in.

FROM CORNELL LAW PROF. WILLIAM JACOBSON, A CHALLENGE TO OBAMA: Request Special Counsel As To Foreign Contributions. “That the Obama campaign received foreign donations as a result of this scheme may be the only thing agreed-upon by both Pamela Geller and Charles Johnson. Indeed, Obama for America has admitted receiving foreign contributions. The fact that the Federal Election Commission is not investigating the allegations necessitates a special counsel.”

CBS: You know, Alito was right

Couric notes that this is the most brazen attack by a President against the Court since FDR

Interesting Approach.

Obama assails Republican foes to their face then urges bipartisan effort

President Obama speaks at the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore, January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday scolded his Republican opponents for trying to block his legislative agenda and urged them to be bipartisan at a Republican congressional retreat.

Christmas Day bomber scandal marches on

The 'afterward' bears a very careful review of taking liberties with the law


The real scandal surrounding the failed Christmas Day airline bombing was not the fact that a terrorist got on a plane -- that can happen to any administration, as it surely did to the Bush administration -- but what happened afterward when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was captured and came under the full control of the U.S. government.

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is

That's $10 billion, with a "b"

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have apparently declared war on disease. At the World Economic Forum in Davos Friday, the two announced that their foundation will donate a whopping $10 billion to the cause of researching new vaccines and bringing them to poor countries. "We must make this the decade of vaccines," Bill Gates said, adding that "innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before."

Obama rethinking NYC site for terror trials

If there are voices that can get loud enough to make a difference, it's those of New Yorkers ...
CS - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

It appears Khalid Shaikh Mohamed may not be tried at the scene of the crime after all. After facing criticism from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) over the impending trial of the 9/11 terror suspect in New York City, President Obama asked Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday to consider other locations. "It would be an inconvenience at the least, and probably that's too mild a word for people that live in the neighborhood and businesses in the neighborhood," Bloomberg told reporters only hours before Obama's decision. "There are places that would be less expensive for the taxpayers and less disruptive for New York City." According to The Daily News, New York's police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, was instrumental in rallying opposition to the planned trial location based on the extreme cost of maintaining security. Maybe I am too practical, but it just occurs to me that we have not withdrawn from Guantanamo YET, and while we continue to support the post there, it seems to me to be the safest location to have the trials of these bad boys.

Quick takes


To fight deadliest Taliban threat in Afghanistan, US troops go low-tech

To thwart militants in Afghanistan from planting roadside bombs, or IEDs, US soldiers are pleading with locals to alert them to threats. Air surveillance can be too imprecise and approval for airstrikes too slow in coming.

Senate Democrats raised the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion and passed a pay-as-you-go measure Thursday. Both needed 60 votes. But a bid to cap federal spending exposed different fault lines.

A chocoholic's dreams come true

China turns Great Wall, other icons into my most favorite food

A worker adjusts a Terracotta Warrior made of chocolate at the Chocolate
Wonderland theme park in Beijing.

What do you do with empty Olympic facilities to try to make them useful once the Games are over? Why, open a World Chocolate Wonderland, of course.

That’s what the Chinese have done. In a hangar-like building next to the Bird’s Nest a team of innovativechocolatiers have taken 80 tons of Belgian chocolate and turned it into replicas of the Great Wall, the famed terracotta warriors, and even more unlikely icons, such as a Louis Vuitton handbag.

The show opened Friday, and organizers say they expect as many as 1 million visitors over the next 10 weeks to pay a hefty $12 each to marvel at what they call “a combination of Chinese tradition and chocolate creativity.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2010/0129/A-new-world-wonder-China-s-Great-Wall-remade-in-tons-of-chocolate

A man of convictions; how refreshing


Daniel in the lion's den

BHO chastises GOP lawmakers; so much for wanting to work toward bipartisanship

Maybe tomorrow, he'll meet with the Supreme Court and yell a bit at them

In a face-to-face encounter, President Barack Obama chastised Republican lawmakers Friday for opposing him on health care, economic stimulus and other major issues.

Republicans pushed back on taxes and spending, and accused Obama of not taking their ideas seriously.

Obama, attending the House Republicans' retreat in Baltimore, began with conciliatory remarks but soon became more pointed. He said a GOP-driven "politics of no" was blocking action on bills that could help Americans obtain jobs and health care.

In a sometimes-barbed exchange, he said some in the audience have attended ribbon-cutting ceremonies for projects funded by the stimulus package they voted against. Obama also questioned why Republicans have overwhelmingly opposed his tax-cut policies, which he said have benefited 95 percent of American families.

"The notion that this was a radical package is just not true," Obama said. "I am not an ideologue."

Jobs on Kindle/eBook prices: 'Will be the same'

It's not like the man's a dumb businessman; duuuuhhhhh ...
and it's also a testament to his innovation and business acumen

steveweb.jpgIn a candid video interview with All Things DigitalApple CEO Steve Jobs (pictured) made a cryptic declaration when asked about price comparisons between Apple iBooks and Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Books.

Our digitally-obsessed sibling eBookNewseractually embedded the video and added some commentary at this link.

"The prices will be the same," Jobs told Wall Street Journal reporter Walt Mossberg in a brief Flipcam interview. He also took a quick dig at Amazon: "Publishers are actually withholding books from Amazon because they're not happy."

Here's a final quote from the interview, as Job addressed the ten-hour reading battery life on the device: "It's not a big deal. Ten hours is a long time, you're not going to read for ten hours!"

Simpler is better in Language

Geographic distribution of the 2,236 languages included in the present study

The study argues that  the more common and popular the language, the simpler its construction to facilitate its survival.

For example, languages spoken by more than 100,000 people are almost six times more likely to have simple verb conjugations compared to languages spoken by fewer than 100,000 people

Quick Hits

(Telegraph)
Obvious
George Soros throws a monkey wrench into the Glenn Beck investment strategy: "Gold is now the ultimate bubble."

(Entertainment Weekly)
PSA
ABC puts a bag over it. Ugly Betty is cancelled

(Some Guy)
Interesting
"I am weary of the President's unspoken premise that only government--indeed, only the federal government--can accomplish good in our society."

(RWN)
Followup
While the left was quick to accuse Gov. McDonnell of selecting the people behind him during GOP response for their 'diversity,' it turns out they're his Cabinet

Alligators in Kansas – again.

Fishermen in Kansas caught a big one yesterday - a 5 foot 3 inch dead alligator.

Alligators have a long history of showing up in the Sunflower State. In March of 2007, a four-year-old gator was pulled from Lake Shawnee, outside of Topeka. The alligator was described as "lethargic" but it was still alive. In April 2004, a 32 inch alligator cheekily dubbed "Kanzilla" was found along the Missouri River in Leavenworth, Kansas.

When being overweight is good.

'Overweight' Adults Age 70 or Older Are Less Likely to Die Over a 10-Year Period

The study began in 1996 and recruited 4,677 men and 4,563 women. The participants were followed for ten years or until their death, whichever was sooner, and factors such as lifestyle, demographics, and health were measured. The research uncovered that mortality risk was lowest for participants with a BMI classified as overweight, with the risk of death reduced by 13% compared with normal weight participants. The benefits were only seen in the overweight category not in those people who are obese.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128091740.htm

I agree with the French. It is learned, not genetics.

French Doctors Insist G-Spot Does Exist

Less than a month after British researchers said a woman’s G-spot may not exist, French doctors are saying the erogenous zone is not a myth after all, London’s Daily Telegraph reported.

A study from King’s College London, which was published earlier this month in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, included 1,800 women, who were all twins (some identical, some not). The researchers believed if one identical twin reported having a G-spot, this would make it far more likely that her sister would give the same answer. But no such pattern emerged, suggesting the G-spot is a matter of the woman’s subjective opinion.

However, French experts disagreed with the British experts.

"The English study is barking up the wrong tree," said France’s most popular gynecologist, Sylvain Mimoun. "It’s not a question of genetics, but of use."

A potential never realized.

NASA

On the eve of fullest moon of the year, NASA scientists are told they will no longer be able to visit, as Obama eliminates space program's manned moon missions.

Not so good news when you get to the details.


NOW FOR SOME GOOD NEWS: 5.7% GDP

Oops, it’s not even that good. “However, almost two-thirds of it came from a slowdown in liquidation of inventories, leaving an anemic 2.2% of actual growth.”

Now You Know

Bags Fly (Tax) Free
Bags The IRS has ruled that the airlines are not subject to tax on the $1.76 billion to be received this year in baggage fees:

Correction of hte Day from Slate

The Jan. 25 article "Is the President Panicking" originally stated that Fox News led the charge against Bill Clinton in the '94 midterm elections. Fox News did not come into being until 1996. The story has been corrected.

Yesterday in Washington

Dems vow to move ahead on healthcare...

Obama to Seek $54 Billion for Nuclear Plants...

Senate permits gov't to borrow an additional $1.9 Trillion!
Dems hope they won't have to vote again...

Why Is Senator Kirk Still Voting On Legislation?

Russia unveils top secret new fighter: The Russian F-22

The new jet can carry out long flights above the speed of sound and simultaneously attack different targets

DBD strikes again

SOTU:Day by Day Cartoon