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‘New great depression’



Eight inches of snow in Rome is a little unusual.

Meanwhile, the L.A. Times is “perplexed” by the warm weather here.


Neil Young:

Split decision

I was perturbed to find out that for the first time ever, my best friend and I both want the same guy – Craig Ferguson. (The topic came up because she’s leaving for a vacation in Scotland, and I mentioned that he’s my favorite Scot.)

Her Craig worship was a surprise because I didn’t even know she watched his show. “Really? I would have to fight you for him?” I said, incredulous.

“Out of the way, bitch,” said my normally-nice Midwestern friend.

“Couldn’t we just share?” I pleaded.

She sighed and finally agreed. So I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Whew!


An attack by Israel looking increasingly likely.

Central Government for Dummies

Tea Partiers are so ignorant they don’t seem to know what Ben Franklin meant when he used a snake as a symbol to rally colonists into uniting against a common enemy. More here.

Georgio orders at Sonic

This is awesomely funny:

Fracking fluids

This is a useful step in holding drilling companies accountable. They’ve refused to disclose what they use, claiming it was a “proprietary formula” that could be treated as a trade secret:

(Reuters) – The U.S. government will require natural gas drillers to disclose which chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing on public lands, according to draft rules crafted by the Interior Department.

President Barack Obama pledged in the State of the Union address last week that the government would develop a road map for responsible natural gas production and roll out new rules to ensure drillers protect the environment.

Companies would be required to disclose the “complete chemical makeup of all materials used” in fracking fluids under the Interior Department’s draft rules, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

The industry objected to any rule that would force drillers to reveal the chemicals used in fracking, during which chemical-laced water and sand are blasted deep below ground to release oil and natural gas trapped within rock formations. Fracking has allowed companies to tap a wealth of new natural gas reserves but critics say the procedure has polluted water and air.

Of course

I knew that sooner or later, it would come out that some professional wingnut was behind the little love match between the Susan G. Komen Foundation and anti-Planned Parenthood VP Karen Handel. Surprise! It’s Ari Fleischer:

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for George W. Bush and prominent right-wing pundit, was secretly involved in the Komen Foundation’s strategy regarding Planned Parenthood. Fleischer personally interviewed candidates for the position of “Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations” at Komen last December. According to a source with first-hand knowledge, Fleischer drilled prospective candidates during their interviews on how they would handle the controversy about Komen’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Fleischer’s relationship with Komen and the Planned Parenthood controversy was previously undisclosed. He confirmed to ThinkProgress his recent role in filling a key communication position at Komen. Fleischer stressed, however, another communications firm (Ogilvy PR) was retained by Komen to deal with crisis communications over the last few days and he has not been involved.

In November, Komen advertised for a top level communications position in Roll Call. Promising applicants received a call from Fleischer. The advertisement is no longer posted on the Roll Call website, but a portion is accessible via Google.

According to a source, during at least one interview, Planned Parenthood was a major topic of conversation. Fleischer indicated that he had discussed the Planned Parenthood issue with Komen’s CEO, Nancy Brinker, and that she was at her wits end about how to proceed. Fleischer described himself as a longtime friend of Brinker.

Fleischer confirmed to ThinkProgress that he would receive a fee from Komen when the search is complete. Fleischer did not specify the amount of his fee but said it would be “substantially below the normal placement fee charged by executive search companies” because “they’re a charity I believe in.”

All things must pass

George Harrison:

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