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It’s a blizzard, all right

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It’s snowing pretty hard. I went out for lunch (I just had to get out of the house and a Subaru makes that possible) and it took me a half-hour to go two miles:

A wintry double whammy is descending on the Northeast on Tuesday, bringing as much as a foot of snow and another blast of arctic air.

The latest blow to a weather-beaten region promises to snarl airports and interstates, has closed schools and shuttered much of the nation’s capital. Initially forecast to be a modest blurt of cold weather, the system is now packing a real punch.

“Every once in while these little winter storms go bananas, and we think this might be the one,” said Kevin Roth, a lead meteorologist with the Weather Channel.

“Cities from Philadelphia to Boston could face a pretty bad commute home,” Roth said. “We’re expecting a good six to 10 inches. It will be snowing pretty hard.”

A shortage of propane gas in the Midwest and Northeast is impacting millions of homes and businesses in rural areas beyond the reach of utilities.

Blizzard conditions are expected along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor. Washington, D.C., is set to see about a half-foot of snow and wind gusts of 30 mph, while Boston could see around 8 inches and wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Mad gun skillz

Feeling safer yet?

A police chief accidentally shot himself in the leg at a gun store on Saturday. Somewhat amazingly, this is the second time the chief has suffered an inadvertent self-inflicted gunshot wound; 15 years ago he shot himself in the hand while cleaning his service weapon.

Connersville, Indiana police chief David Counceller’s most recent self-inflicted wound occurred when his sweatshirt jammed against his 40-caliber Glock’s trigger as he attempted to holster the weapon. He was examining a new Glock at a gun shop at the time.

“It got tangled in my clothing,” Counceller said of his gun, according to the Indy Star. “I was wearing a sweatshirt and a fleece jacket. I felt (the gun) go in the holster and I pushed it, but it was tangled in the material which caused it to discharge. The bullet went into my leg and then into the floor.”

Counceller’s injury was minor and he was able to drive himself to the hospital, where he said nurses laughed at him when he said he’d shot himself.

Art by Panhandle Slim…

Same boat

Panhandle Slim…

An open letter to Hollywood women

I couldn’t agree more. I look at these stretched, plumped faces and think, “Really? You think you look better?”

Another Christie excuse shot down

townhallThis image, captured from the video of a New Jersey Public Television program, “Superstorm Sandy: A Live Town Hall,” which aired May 16, 2013, shows Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer seated in the front row between Belmar, N.J. Mayor Matt Doherty, right, and DCA Commissioner Richard Constable, left.

Via the Maddow Show:

We talked earlier about Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer (D), who told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki over the weekend that two top officials in Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) administration told her to advance a local development deal, and in exchange, her city would receive more post-Sandy relief funding. The governor’s office is challenging the mayor’s story this afternoon with an easy-to-check claim.

At issue is an event in May of last year, when a group of officials gathered for a public television special on Sandy recovery. Zimmer sat alongside Richard Constable, Christie’s community affairs commissioner, and according to the mayor, Constable told her if she moved forward with a specific development deal, “they money would start flowing” to Hoboken.

Today, Christie’s office disseminated a piece from the Asbury Park Press, quoting Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty (D), who was part of the same panel.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, who also was a panelist, said he didn’t hear a conversation between Zimmer and Constable.

“I sat next to Mayor Zimmer and, if I recall correctly, (Constable) was on my other side,” Doherty said.

If true, that would be a pretty important detail – Zimmer’s version of events makes clear that she was sitting next to the Christie administration official. But is Doherty’s memory accurate?

It is not. As is clear in the above photo, Doherty’s mistaken. Seated in the front row, from right to left, is Doherty, then Zimmer, then Constable. Patrick Murray, the director of Monmouth University’s polling institute, is on the far-left side of that front row.

It’s not surprising that the governor’s office hopes to undermine the accuracy of the mayor’s claims, but in this case, her version is at least plausible – she was seated next to Constable, just as she claimed. Doherty’s account, which Team Christie is circulating, is simply mistaken.

A song for Lyn

David Wilcox with “Chet Baker’s Unsung Swan Song”:

My old addiction
Changed the wiring in my brain
So that when it turns the switches
Then I am not the same

So like the flowers toward the sun
I will follow
Stretch myself too thin
Like there’s a part of me that’s already buried
That sends me out into this window

Continue Reading »

News you can use

I didn’t know this, and I’ll bet you didn’t, either:


This seems like poetic justice:

A woman whose childhood rapes by her uncle were captured on camera and widely traded on the Internet wants the Supreme Court to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view the brutal images on their computers.

The case being argued at the Supreme Court on Wednesday involves a Texas man who pleaded guilty to having images of children engaged in sex acts on his computer. Doyle Randall Paroline is appealing an order holding him responsible for the full amount of losses, nearly $3.4 million, suffered by the woman known as Amy. Of the several hundred incriminating images on Paroline’s computer, just two were of Amy.

Advocates for child pornography victims say that holding defendants liable for the entire amount of losses better reflects the ongoing harm that victims suffer each time someone views the images online. The threat of a large financial judgment, coupled with a prison term, also might deter some people from looking at the images in the first place, the advocates say.

“The threat that a person in the child pornography market may well bear the entire cost of the harm done to the victim, even if they are a ‘minor player,’ is likely to be a large deterrent, especially when the harm done typically runs into the millions for a victim’s lifetime of care,” said Marci Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University. Hamilton wrote a brief in the case on behalf of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.

Gun risks and the illusion of self-defense


I think this falls under the category of “duh!”:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – People may have heightened risks of dying from suicide and murder if they own or have access to a gun, according to a new analysis of previous research.

Researchers found people who lived in homes with firearms were between two and three times more likely to die from either cause, compared to those who lived in homes without guns.

“There have been a lot of conflicting reports about having a firearm in the home,” Andrew Anglemyer said. He is the study’s lead author and an epidemiologist from the University of California, San Francisco.

Anglemyer and his coauthors write in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday that the U.S. has the highest prevalence of gun ownership in the world, and the majority of suicides and murders are committed with firearms.

Some arrests in Target case

Shopped at Target this holiday season? Company breach means you should check your finances

If only we had the computer chip cards like they have in Europe:

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Account information stolen during the Target security breach is now being divided up and sold off regionally, a South Texas police chief said Monday following the arrest of two Mexican citizens who authorities say arrived at the border with 96 fraudulent credit cards.

McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said Mary Carmen Garcia, 27, and Daniel Guardiola Dominguez, 28, both of Monterrey, Mexico, used cards containing the account information of South Texas residents. Rodriguez said they were used to buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise at national retailers in the area including Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us.

“They’re obviously selling the data sets by region,” Rodriguez said.

Garcia and Guardiola were both being held Monday on state fraud charges. It was not immediately known whether they had retained lawyers.

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