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Department of the Unattended Bag

All the news that doesn't fit---anywhere else.

Sarah's picture

A Moment's Remembrance, Please: The US Gulf Coast, NOLa, & Katrina

Four years ago a hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States. Early in the morning it looked like the threatened city of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the storm's path, might have "dodged a bullet." The rest of the Coast had been whacked hard, but the storm, unlike Allison in Houston, hadn't "parked" above New Orleans. Then the levees failed. Read more about A Moment's Remembrance, Please: The US Gulf Coast, NOLa, & Katrina

Mandos's picture

Power and process


Some of you may have noticed that a certain recent thread has been embroiled in the endless discussion of the primary and the general, and 11-dimensional chess, and progressive A-list bloggers and so on and so forth. It would be pointless not to acknowledge at the outset that that isn't the initial motivation for writing this post. And some of my critics are ultimately correct in pointing out after a certain point, it's not productive. So let's abstract away from it for a moment. Read more about Power and process

Mandos's picture

Unreason is probably pretty adaptive

Now, Bob Somerby has an excellent post up about the obsession with earmarks:

Those high-profile spending measures total nearly $2 trillion. By way of contrast, the EARMARKS which have Sheneman frightened total $7.7 billion. (No one has made the slightest attempt to show how much of that is “wasteful.”) But guess what? Trillions are much larger than billions! In fact, those EARMARKS represent roughly one two hundred and fiftieth of the total spending in these high-profiles measures. That amounts to one quarter of one percent—one dollar of every 250.

But to Sheneman, these EARMARKS are larger than human life. They may swallow the White House itself.

Stealing one quarter at a time.

From The Boston Globe /

It seems that millions of credit card accounts have been hit with a "mysterious credit card charges" of $.25 from a "Adele Services" in Melville, N.Y. It doesn't seem to exist as far as anyone can tell, yet the charges went through. You can and should contest this charge if you find it in your CC bill, don't let it slide, as the thieves may want to see if possible targets of a later, larger fraud are monitoring their account.

There is the possibility that it is just a massive attempt to get a lot of small amounts of money from many people into one large amount for one person or as ( to quote the article ): Read more about Stealing one quarter at a time.

Sarah's picture

Not an NTSA Confiscation

Her name is Gracie.

She made it from Florida to Fort Worth in her owner's luggage. Her story is here.
Now, about that Level Orange Alert, Secretary... Read more about Not an NTSA Confiscation

Mandos's picture

Canadian election today

Today, when most of you get to work, the Canadian polls will open. Aux urnes! as they say in French. So, I've been in Canada for the past week or so, and I had grand plans of not only finishing off some posts which I owe some people, but writing a sort of last-days political travelogue of the Canadian election, as I've been wandering around southern and eastern Ontario. But not least due to the surprising spottiness of Internet access, I have failed. *hangs head* Read more about Canadian election today

Sarah's picture

Hey guys? Can you buy gas in your 'hood? What price?


Just askin', 'cause it's under $3 a gallon in my hometown today.
Could there really be a de-flation cycle starting?
If so, how close are we to 10/29/29 well-and-truly screwed? Read more about Hey guys? Can you buy gas in your 'hood? What price?

Mandos's picture

It's hard to describe the issues in the Canadian election

So, I've been wracking my brains attempting to come up with a way to introduce what the issues are in this Canadian election, including calling up family currently living in Canada and asking them, but I still haven't found the right approach. I mean, not only am I writing for a USAmerican audience, which means a different national context, but I do believe that for a country so small in population compared to the USA, the politics are much harder to describe.

Perhaps this isn't fair, but I have an easier time discussing US politics with Canadians than Canadian politics with Canadians. Maybe it's just easier to paper over the real complexity in US politics, but I really do feel that Canadian politics are just more convoluted. Read more about It's hard to describe the issues in the Canadian election

Mandos's picture

Dropping the writ on the executive legislature

So now that, due to my loose fingers and Corrente's illiberal policy towards the back button, you will not see my post on Canadian vice-Queens and their electoral meaning, I will salvage my pride with a short post on what just happened on the Canadian electoral front. ie, an election was recently called. Read more about Dropping the writ on the executive legislature

Mandos's picture

The writ, it has been dropped we say in Canada.

So, in other words, us Canadians will have voted in a new government before you USians have voted in yours.

The stakes are high. Canadians have to decide whether they can get over Stéphane Dion's personality issues enough to stop Stephen Harper from dismantling the country, basically. So far, the most likely outcome in my opinion is that Canada will have another Conservative minority. But I'm terrified of the fact that they are in majority territory. Read more about The writ, it has been dropped

chicago dyke's picture

Two Thursday Poems


...don't worry, I didn't write them.

Poem the First, many more here.

She Calls It The London Read more about Two Thursday Poems

Mandos's picture

Sister Souljah, the Cadillac welfare queen, and the fears of white people

Very recently, this thread on Clinton Derangement Syndrome erupted into flame over Bill Clinton's famous Sister Souljah Moment when I mentioned it as a possible cause of dissatisfaction with him felt by some people (me included) during his presidency. You know, things were different then, and we never imagined things could get this bad. Ah, the memories. Read more about Sister Souljah, the Cadillac welfare queen, and the fears of white people

Mandos's picture

Thank you for the correction

It has been kindly pointed out to me that there is an error (in good faith, based on not checking the facts on another post and/or misreading the post) in my last post on flags. I feel obliged to correct this with another post, because I feel the content of my post still stands even after the factual error has been corrected.

Hillary Clinton did not participate in the attempt at adding a flag-burning amendment to the Constitution. She instead attempted to defuse it by proposing a non-amendment that very narrowly fit the Constitution as interpreted generally by the courts. Consequently, this paragraph, Read more about Thank you for the correction


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