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Quote of the day

I’ve found that the more depressed I am, the more accurate I am. You?

While healthy people expect the future to be slightly better than it ends up being, people with severe depression tend to be pessimistically biased: they expect things to be worse than they end up being. People with mild depression are relatively accurate when predicting future events. They see the world as it is. In other words, in the absence of a neural mechanism that generates unrealistic optimism, it is possible all humans would be mildly depressed.

Tuesday night’s show

You can listen here. Had a really good conversation with the thoughtful Raven Brooks about Netroots Nation — and progressive politics in general.


I woke up this morning with swollen eyes and throat, hardly able to talk after breathing the toxic smoke from yesterday’s fire. So I called the EPA and I’m waiting for a call back.

Then I called the PA Department of Environmental Destruction Protection, and they quickly said, “We don’t handle that.”

So it’s not under your jurisdiction when someone stores toxic material in an unsafe manner that exposes all these people?

“No, you want the Philadelphia Air Management office.”

I call. A woman takes all the information and says someone from the engineer’s office will call me back.

In the meantime, I’m praying that this rain gets here soon. Maybe it will make it easier to breathe.

Grandma ain’t laughing

Single payer

Vermont governor signs the bill. Now they need a federal waiver to set it up.

Pyramids and tombs

How cool is this?

US archaeologists have used satellite imaging to discover 17 buried pyramids in Egypt, as well as a thousand tombs and 3000 buildings dating back to the time of the Pharaohs.

Some of the infra-red imaging, taken 692 kilometres above the Earth, showing entire street plans of ancient towns.

At least two of the pyramids have so far been confirmed by archaeologists digging on the sites located by the satellite, and the technique is being hailed as a major breakthrough in archaeological surveying.

The discovery gives hope to Egypt’s struggling tourism industry. From the famous Pyramids of Giza to the Red Sea resorts, tourists numbers have plummeted to just a trickle this year following the ousting of president Hosni Mubarak.

The extraordinary discovery, documented in a film to be broadcast by the BBC this week, “show us how easy it is to underestimate both the size and scale of past human settlements,” said Dr Sarah Parcak of the University of Alabama.

Dr Parcak also used the same technique to identify tombs that had been broken into by looters during the chaos of the recent revolution in Egypt.

The technique picks out the more solid mud brick structures used by ancient Egyptian builders from the sandy terrain in which they are often submerged.


19 innings

I watched until the 18th inning and finally went to bed. But it was fun!

Bill Clinton

I did not know that he was known for his plan to cut Social Security — but it doesn’t surprise me. He was an approval junkie who wanted everyone to love him — especially Wall St.

So Grover wrote a letter

To one of our Republican state senators:

When is a fee a tax? When Grover Norquist says so.

The Inquirer reported last week that anti-tax guru Norquist was the wizard behind the Oz-like fiscal contortions of the GOP-controlled state legislature, which has refused to consider raising revenue of any kind in the face of a massive debt.

It was Norquist and his D.C.-based group, Americans for Tax Reform, who advanced the “no tax” pledge signed by hundreds of elected officials, including Gov. Corbett and 34 members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The state House – in keeping with Corbett’s “no way, no how” to new taxes – has buried any proposals to place a levy on Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction.

But this month Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) bit the bullet and offered up a shale gas “impact fee” with proceeds funneled to affected areas.

Over in the governor’s office, Corbett remains unwavering in his campaign-era hard line over tax increases, but in recent months has shown some hint of openness – if not support – of the prospect of an “impact fee.

Until now.

Because Grover -arbiter of all things fiscal throughout the land – said so.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today reports that Norquist sent a letter to Sen. Mary Jo White (R., Venango) whose committee would have to consider the shale fee pronouncing it, in fact, a tax.

“Make no mistake, this proposal is a tax increase based on any honest and objective analysis,” Norquist wrote.

“As such, a vote in favor of Senate Bill 1100 also represents a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a commitment which Gov. Corbett and 34 members of the legislature have made to their constituents to impose any and all efforts to raise taxes.”

I wonder who voted for this guy. Oh, that’s right: NOBODY.


That Joe’s boys would be caught breaking the law like that.

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