Good Samaritan

I saw this guy interviewed on the news last night and he was just crying with relief. God bless ‘im!

As to the kid, well, one of my closest friends has two kids with autism and if you turn your back for a second, chaos can ensue. Don’t assume you know what kind of parent this mother is.

The sky is falling

It’s very important that we all buy into the extreme sense of urgency around all this “fiscal cliff” hysteria, so that when they spring the Grand Bargain that solves everything, we understand that there was Simply Nothing Else To Be Done. Now that you have your marching orders, start laying in the cat food for your retirement years:

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats — holding firm against extending tax cuts for the rich — are proposing a novel way to circumvent the Republican pledge not to vote for any tax increase: Allow all the tax cuts to expire Jan. 1, then vote on a tax cut for the middle class shortly thereafter.

The proposal illustrates the lengths lawmakers are going to try to include new federal revenues in a fix for the “fiscal cliff,” the reckoning in January that would come when all Bush-era tax cuts expire and automatic spending cuts to military and domestic programs kick in.

Virtually every Republican in Congress has taken the pledge, pushed by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, never to vote for a tax increase — a pledge both parties see as a serious impediment to a tax compromise. But if tax rates snap back to the levels of the Clinton presidency on Jan. 1, any legislation to reinstate some of those tax cuts — but not all of them — would be considered a tax cut.

[…] Lawmakers on both sides are now lamenting the fiscal train wreck that many of them voted to create, a confluence of spending cuts and tax increases that the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, said Tuesday could send the economy into recession.

At the same time, former Vice President Dick Cheney was meeting with Senate and House Republicans, in part to warn them of the dire consequences he sees in $500 billion in automatic military cuts that will begin to hit on Jan. 2. Off Capitol Hill, a broad bipartisan coalition of fiscal hawks, led by the co-chairman of President Obama’s 2010 fiscal commission, Erskine B. Bowles, restarted efforts to pressure Washington to reach a “grand bargain” on deficit reduction.

Fiscal cliff, Grover Norquist, tax pledge, deficit reduction, blah blah blah. Grand Bargain!
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Dangerous people

Remember last week when Hillary Clinton’s car was attacked in Egypt?

It seems to be because Glenn Beck pparently told his minions that the family of Clinton’s longtime aide, Huma Abedin, was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, and that the U.S. backed the Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian elections. The lie was promptly picked up by wingnut websites and amplified by Crazy Michele Bachmann (who is, after all, on the House Intelligence committee), and thus it traveled around the globe.

Bachmann and her colleagues — Reps.Trent Franks (Ariz.)Louie Gohmert (Tex.),Thomas J. Rooney (Fla.) and Lynn A. Westmoreland (Ga.) — wrote to the inspectors general of the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State asking that they investigate the U.S. government’s involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood.


The letter to the State Department mentioned Abedin, citing a Web site maintained by the Center for Security Policy that calls her one of “six Islamist sympathizers” who have “achieved positions within or advisory roles serving Team Obama.”

Even Ed Rollins is pissed at her. Even John McCain is.

These people are dangerous. They should be censured.

UPDATE: Bachmann insists she’s right.

Corn crop estimated drop ‘by the hour’

Now remember, many of our foods are dependent on corn. The bulk of corn grown in the U.S. is consumed by livestock, poultry, and fish production. Approximately 12% of the U.S. corn crop ends up in foods that are either consumed directly or indirectly, and has many industrial uses including ethanol. So this is not good news at all – and will most likely translate into much higher food costs.

Good thing the administration has taken such bold moves to prevent further global warming, huh?

CHICAGO, July 17 (Reuters) – U.S. corn production has shrunk 7 percent versus the government’s downgraded estimate a week ago, a Reuters poll found on Tuesday, with a worsening drought likely to cause more damage before the month is out.

As the worst drought since 1956 begins to expand to the northern and western Midwest, areas that had previously been spared, analysts are slashing corn yield estimates by the hour. Some analysts are also starting to cut their forecasts on the number of acres that will be harvested as farmers opt to plough under their fields to claim insurance.

What began the season as a potentially record corn crop as farmers planted the biggest area since 1937, may now be the smallest in at least five years. Soybeans, which enter their key pod-setting phase later then corn, are increasingly at risk. The poll of 13 analysts pegged the average estimated corn yield at 137.2 bushels per acre, down 6 percent from USDA’s current forecast of 146 bushels.

The USDA dropped its yield estimate by an unprecedented 20 bushels per acre in its report on July 11. Corn production was pegged at 12.077 billion bushels, the smallest in 5 years, down 6.9 percent from USDA’s outlook. “We’re losing more yield with the additional stress now in the northern areas which up until now had been pretty good,” said Shawn McCambridge, analyst for Jefferies Bache.

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