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The weight

Wilco, Nick Lowe and Mavis Staples:

Crooks

How the credit-card industry robs restaurants — and dares them to try to get the money back.

The new blue collar

Working in the warehouse.

Chris Christie, liar, liar

And this is always where Republicans have the advantage: They’re shameless. They will do or say anything in the service of their goals, and nobody’s better at it than Chris Christie. He knows what he’s saying is crap (does anyone really believe that Obama is happy about Occupy Wall Street?) and he certainly didn’t “create” 60,000 jobs in New Jersey (*see below), but that doesn’t stop him from spouting whatever works:

On Sunday night in Exeter, it was official: There just might be no politician in America better at shouting down protesters than Chris Christie.

Turning out a crowd of hundreds at Exeter High School for a Mitt Romney rally just two days before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, the New Jersey governor drowned out a pack of Occupy Wall Street protesters who piped up at various points with chants of “Mitt kills jobs” and “Christie kills jobs.”

“Oh really,” Christie replied in acid tones when protesters began the chant. He pivoted to an attack on President Obama, accusing him of dividing the country and fueling the anger of young people like those being shouted down by Romney’s supporters.

“I have a message for you, Mr. President. This is the type of disoriented anger your cynicism and your division is causing in our country. Bring our country together — stop dividing it, Mr. President,” Christie shouted. “On second thought, Mr. President, if you’re up there in the family quarters of the White House, put your feet up and don’t worry about it. Mitt Romney is going to bring America together.”

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Oops

Good thing I buy the generics, huh?

BASEL, Switzerland – Novartis is recalling some bottles of Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin and Gas-X Sunday over concerns that the bottles could contain stray pills from other medicines, or chipped or broken tablets.

The news follows Novartis’ recent decision to temporarily suspend production at its Lincoln, Neb., plant for “maintenance and other improvement activities.”

The Swiss drug maker said it implemented the recall, which affects U.S. retailers, voluntarily and is working with the Food and Drug Administration during the process. It became aware of the potential problem during an internal review that identified broken and chipped pills, and inconsistent bottle packaging that could cause pills to be mixed up. The company said it wanted to make sure that customers didn’t take any pills that they might be allergic to or that might become dangerous when mixed with their other medications, though it also said that there have been no such reports from consumers.

Novartis said that some of the bottles of headache medicine Excedrin and caffeine caplets NoDoz with expiration dates of Dec. 20, 2014, or earlier will be subject to the recall. Some of the packages of pain medicine Bufferin and stomach medicine Gas-X with expiration dates of Dec. 20, 2013,or earlier will also be affected.

R.I.P.

Tom Ardolino, 56, NRBQ drummer.

Milestone

I’ve lost 50 pounds now (not all of it on purpose, lately) and I’m almost at the weight I was when I hurt my ankle. Many pounds still to go, of course.

The down side? I’ve discovered that, after years of being complimented on my youthful skin, I do indeed have wrinkles.

Pity the billionaire

Chris Hayes interviews Thomas Frank:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Throwing good money after bad

I have to laugh at the fact that the CEO of the Venetian casino in Las Vegas is, like any compulsive gambler, betting on the long shot that Newt Gingrich can win the Republican nomination. Sheldon, don’t you know the house always wins? It appears that the house, in this case, is Karl Rove — and he’s backing Mittens:

MANCHESTER, N.H. — As candidates spent the weekend trying to catch up to Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, with the primary just two days away, a longtime supporter of Newt Gingrich donated $5 million to a “super PAC” backing his presidential bid, providing a major boost to Mr. Gingrich’s ailing campaign.

The donation by Sheldon Adelson was reported Saturday night by The Washington Post. He has long been a generous patron of Mr. Gingrich’s political career. The super PAC, Winning Our Future, was formed last month by Becky Burkett, who served until earlier last year as chief development officer for American Solutions, a political action committee that Mr. Gingrich founded. The cash infusion from Mr. Adelson instantly catapults Winning Our Future into the top ranks of candidate super PACs, groups that can raise unlimited amounts of money from donors and spend it all on advertisements and other efforts to back a specific candidate, so long as they do not coordinate with the campaign.

Ms. Burkett declined to comment on the donation on Saturday.

Sheldon just loves Newt:

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson was the biggest funder of American Solutions, contributing $7.65 million and rumored to have committed $20 million to a pro-Gingrich super PAC, a report denied by an Adelson spokesperson. Whether the report is true or not, the facts increasingly show that the billionaire casino magnate is a central figure in Newt Gingrich’s political career.

Sands Corporation CEO Sheldon Adelson is based in Las Vegas but has business and political interests in Macau, China and Israel. In Israel, Adelson’s importance stems from his close friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ownership of Israel HaYom, a free daily newspaper which supports Netanyahu’s Likud party. Back in the U.S., Adelson sits on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition and is outspoken about his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

During the George W. Bush presidency, Adelson opposed efforts to jump start peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians and even took sides against the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) when the organization supported peace talks. “I don’t continue to support organizations that help friends committing suicide just because they say they want to jump,” Adelson told the Jewish Telegraph Agency.

Gingrich, who characterized Palestinians as “terrorists” during a December 10th GOP debate and told the Jewish Channel that Palestians are an “invented” people, would seem to be mirroring the hardline positions taken by his early, and cash flush, benefactor.

Streets of London

Ralph McTell:

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