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Current Topic: Current Events

Things I learned on July 3rd 2006
Topic: Current Events 12:52 pm EDT, Jul  9, 2006

-How to ride a motorcycle
-How to take your hand off the throttle *before* shifting gears
-How to do a wheelie, for about half a second, when the bike's transmission jerks it upward
-How to properly bandage road rash
-How not to ride a motorcycle


Things I learned on July 3rd 2006

The Herald - Bizzarro named as replacement to city corporation counsel
Topic: Current Events 10:44 am EDT, Jun 27, 2006

NEW BRITAIN - Mayor Timothy Stewart said Monday he will name New Britain Attorney Gennaro Bizzarro as the city's next corporation counsel. Bizzaro replaces Peter Mlynarczyk, recently appointed by Gov. Rell to serve as a Workers' Compensation Commissioner.

Bizzarro! Bizzarro! Bizzarro! Bizzarro! Bizzarro! Bizzarro!
Bizzarro! Bizzarro! I'm helping Bizzarro! Bizzarro! Bizzarro!

The Herald - Bizzarro named as replacement to city corporation counsel

The Road From K Street to Yusufiya - New York Times
Topic: Current Events 10:42 am EDT, Jun 25, 2006

The Road From K Street to Yusufiya


AS the remains of two slaughtered American soldiers, Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, were discovered near Yusufiya, Iraq, on Tuesday, a former White House official named David Safavian was convicted in Washington on four charges of lying and obstruction of justice. The three men had something in common: all had enlisted in government service in a time of war. The similarities end there. The difference between Mr. Safavian's kind of public service and that of the soldiers says everything about the disconnect between the government that has sabotaged this war and the brave men and women who have volunteered in good faith to fight it.

Privates Tucker and Menchaca made the ultimate sacrifice. Their bodies were so mutilated that they could be identified only by DNA. Mr. Safavian, by contrast, can be readily identified by smell. His idea of wartime sacrifice overseas was to chew over government business with the Jack Abramoff gang while on a golfing junket in Scotland. But what's most indicative of Mr. Safavian's public service is not his felonies in the Abramoff-Tom DeLay axis of scandal, but his legal activities before his arrest. In his DNA you get a snapshot of the governmental philosophy that has guided the war effort both in Iraq and at home (that would be the Department of Homeland Security) and doomed it to failure.

Mr. Safavian, a former lobbyist, had a hand in federal spending, first as chief of staff of the General Services Administration and then as the White House's chief procurement officer, overseeing a kitty of some $300 billion (plus $62 billion designated for Katrina relief). He arrived to help enforce a Bush management initiative called "competitive sourcing." Simply put, this was a plan to outsource as much of government as possible by forcing federal agencies to compete with private contractors and their K Street lobbyists for huge and lucrative assignments. The initiative's objective, as the C.E.O. administration officially put it, was to deliver "high-quality services to our citizens at the lowest cost."

The result was low-quality services at high cost: the creation of a shadow government of private companies rife with both incompetence and corruption. Last week Representative Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who commissioned the first comprehensive study of Bush administration contracting, revealed that the federal procurement spending supervised for a time by Mr. Safavian had increased by $175 billion between 2000 and 2005. (Halliburton contracts alone, unsurprisingly, went up more than 600 percent.) Nearly 40 cents of every dollar in federal discretionary spending now goes to private companies.

In this favor-driven world of fat contracts awarded to the well-connected, Mr. Safavian was only an aspiring consigliere. He was not powerful enough or in government long enough to do much beyond petty reconnaissanc... [ Read More (0.8k in body) ]

The Road From K Street to Yusufiya - New York Times

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program � Magnitude 7.7 - KORYAKIA, RUSSIA
Topic: Current Events 11:30 pm EDT, Apr 20, 2006

Big earthquake in eastern russia, aka siberia, but don't worry:

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program � Magnitude 7.7 - KORYAKIA, RUSSIA

| USGS Earthquake Hazards Program | Earthquake Center | Latest Earthquakes - World | Magnitude 7.5 - MOZAMBIQUE |
Topic: Current Events 7:35 pm EST, Feb 22, 2006

Huge earthquake. No other reports I've seen.

| USGS Earthquake Hazards Program | Earthquake Center | Latest Earthquakes - World | Magnitude 7.5 - MOZAMBIQUE |

Bush wants Google search data
Topic: Current Events 4:30 pm EST, Jan 19, 2006

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.

The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.

Let the fireworks begin.

Bush wants Google search data

Wunder Blog : Weather Underground
Topic: Current Events 2:46 pm EST, Dec 30, 2005

Tropical Storm Zeta... Quite a year for tropical storms.

Wunder Blog : Weather Underground

Comedian Richard Pryor Dies At 65
Topic: Current Events 4:58 pm EST, Dec 10, 2005

Richard Pryor, the caustic yet perceptive actor-comedian who lived dangerously close to the edge both on stage and off, died Saturday. He was 65.

Pryor died shortly before 8 a.m. of a heart attack after being taken to a hospital from his home in the San Fernando Valley, said his business manager, Karen Finch. He had been ill for years with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the nervous system.

I will miss him.

Comedian Richard Pryor Dies At 65

The Note
Topic: Current Events 6:11 pm EST, Dec  5, 2005

The ones in the know read The Note. It's ready weekdays by 11am.

Even though it's in plaintext it's more cryptic than anything thing out there.


The Note

In the Senate, a Chorus of Three Defies the Line
Topic: Current Events 1:31 pm EST, Nov 22, 2005

On a July evening in the Capitol, Vice President Dick Cheney summoned three Republican senators to his ornate office just off the Senate chamber. The Republicans - John W. Warner of Virginia, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina - were making trouble for the Bush administration, and Mr. Cheney let them know it.

The three were pushing for regulations on the treatment of American military prisoners, including a contentious ban on "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." The vice president wanted the provision pulled from a huge military spending bill. The senators would not budge.

"We agreed to disagree," Mr. Graham said in an interview last week.

That private session was an early hint of a Republican feud that spilled into the open last week, as Senate Republicans openly challenged President Bush on American military policy in Iraq and the war on terrorism. In the center of the fray, pushing Congress to reassert itself, were those same three Republicans.

In the Senate, a Chorus of Three Defies the Line

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