Feed on


Assuming nothing goes wrong between then and now, I’ll be having same-day surgery on the 17th. Finally. I asked the surgeon to make sure he didn’t maim or kill me, and he said he’d do his best.

By the way, he said, the symptoms I’m getting aren’t classic gallbladder attacks, but rather gallstone-induced pancreatitis. All I know is, hurts like a motherfucker.


Wednesday, Jan 4 | 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking Science | MSNBC’s Alan Boyle (Cosmic Log) talks with Marc Abrahams, creator of the Ig Nobel Prizes and editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, about the scientific findings from the past year that made us laugh … and then made us think. VS Science is produced in cooperation with MICA, the Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics. Follow @b0yle @MarcAbrahams @ImprobResearch Watch the 2011 Ig Nobels Listen live and later on BTR


And this is what happens because Obama refused to clean house of right-wing Bush appointees:

A crusading GOP critic of the Obama Justice Department’s Voting Section, Hans von Spakovsky, has admitted to having Department sources that are leaking apparently confidential and highly personal information that he is using to viciously attack Voting Section staff and to smear the Department at large.

Leaking such information—including details from ongoing Inspector General inquiries into a previous media leak and detailing the behavior of a DOJ employee related to that internal investigation—would not only violate DOJ confidentiality rules, but also could violate the federal Privacy Act, which governs how agencies are to control records.

Von Spakovsky’s boasts of leaks are peppered throughout his latest article attacking the Voting Section as it is reaching key thresholds in congressional redistricting cases and concluding if numerous new state laws—toughening voter ID, regulating voter registration drives and curtailing early voting—violate the Voting Rights Act.

The Justice Department did not respond to requests for comments on the latest Voting Section leaks. In previous instances of leaks surrounding high-profile DOJ activities, however, the department’s Inspector General office has launched investigations to identify the sources and determine what DOJ policies or laws might be violated.

Von Spakovsky currently is a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Occupy broadcaster evicted

For no discernible reason. A little “selective enforcement,” perhaps?

Earlier this morning, Global Revolution Studios was ordered to vacate from their building by the NYPD in conjunction with the building department. It took three separate departments visiting 13 Thames to finally come up with a reason to remove the Global Revolution team with a posted notice despite having all applicable paperwork for the department of buildings in order. The reason given to me by the Global Revolution team is “A made up sprinkler condition.” Supporting this allegation of falsified conditions is that the very same building passed the same inspection standards back in 2011 in the month of November with no comments or concerns as to the buildings integrity or its sprinkler system.

It’s also odd how the first floor and cellar is imminently perilous to human life, and the floors directly above are perfectly fine. Even the person living illegally in the basement is perfectly fine where he is, meaning it’s specifically the area that Global Rev occupies and nothing else. One could accurately allege that this was a direct attack against one of the major voices of the movement and considering Global Revolutions direct affiliation with the Occupy movement; has made it an obvious target for this attack on free speech. The overreaching plan of these actions has been to suppress the ability of Occupy to communicate and to share the movements’ collective stories as they unfurl. By being a nexus of streams and information, authorities are attempting to do a top-down decapitation of the movements’ media coverage by once again isolating the information to the general public.


“Yes, I’m in a can.” Go read Russ Baker.

ADD nightmare

Seriously, how frustrating (and silly) is this, that the DEA is keeping people from getting needed medication?

Medicines to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are in such short supply that hundreds of patients complain daily to the Food and Drug Administration that they are unable to find a pharmacy with enough pills to fill their prescriptions.

The shortages are a result of a troubled partnership between drug manufacturers and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with companies trying to maximize their profits and drug enforcement agents trying to minimize abuse by people, many of them college students, who use the medications to get high or to stay up all night.

Caught in between are millions of children and adults who rely on the pills to help them stay focused and calm. Shortages, particularly of cheaper generics, have become so endemic that some patients say they worry almost constantly about availability.

While the Food and Drug Administration monitors the safety and supply of the drugs, which are sold both as generics and under brand names like Ritalin and Adderall, the Drug Enforcement Administration sets manufacturing quotas that are designed to control supplies and thwart abuse. Every year, the D.E.A. accepts applications from manufacturers to make the drugs, analyzes how much was sold the previous year and then allots portions of the expected demand to various companies.

Deep thought

Choosing a person to support for president is what it must be like in a women’s prison, and you’re trying to decide which guard to let fuck you — on the off chance that he might throw you the occasional contraband goodie.

But you should never, ever forget that all the guards are on the same team.


Hmm. We already know austerity is the right thing to do, but What do you suppose will happen? Oh, I don’t know, you don’t suppose they’ll have a housing crash, do you?

Nearly seven million Britons are risking a “spiral of debt” through using credit cards, overdrafts and payday loans to pay off their rent or mortgage, a major housing charity has warned.

Of those almost one million have taken out high interest payday loans to meet housing costs, in what Shelter has deemed a “totally unsustainable” situation.

Roger Harding, head of policy and research at Shelter said that as households continue to feel the squeeze, there’s “no reason to expect that it won’t get worse”.

Shelter, in its report published Wednesday, also warned it wasn’t just low income families at risk: “We’re in a situation now when anyone can lose their home because it only takes unemployment or an unexpected illness to start tipping you into that spiral,” Harding told the Huffington Post UK.

“The council of mortgage lenders are predicting a 20% increase in the number of repossessions this year, and that’s with interest rates at a 200-year-low. Private rents are going up.

“We are really starting to see increasing numbers of people who are just squeezed into this situation, whose situation hasn’t changed but all the costs around them have.”

Harding predicted government cuts to housing benefits, which came in this month, will lead to more people “turning to credit to pay their rent”.

Iowa caucus

Jay Rosen nails it:

But that’s part of the ritual: Yeah, we created this thing but we bring it to you as if it would happen without us.

Cause and effect

Bad things seem to happen when voters put social-engineering wingnuts in charge. Maybe they should think about that:

A study by the Georgia Agriculture Department of the state farm workforce shows that finding legal employees with the skill and desire to do labor-intensive harvesting is extremely difficult.

The reasons, says a report released Tuesday of the study’s findings, include the complexity and expense of government programs intended to help farmers employ guest workers, and the physically demanding nature of many agricultural jobs.

The Agriculture Department undertook the study after Georgia’s legislators passed a measure that targeted undocumented immigrants. The state General Assembly asked the agency to conduct a study of immigration’s role in the agricultural industry, which the report described as “the state’s top economic driver.”

Farmers participating in the study said they have suffered roughly $10 million in crop losses because of the law, which many say has driven away workers.

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