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Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:01 PM PST

3-week CR for Homeland Security fails

by shaso

HA HA.  In a remarkable show of unity, the Democrats stuck to their guns and forced Boehner to come up with Republican votes to pass their 3-week CR.  He couldn't do it.  The clown car is now full speed ahead.  They've kept the vote open for a long time, and only 3 democrats have voted YEA[all late in the vote, 25+ minutes in;  now up to 11 after 218 NAYs was hit].  And there is 219 NAYs.  Congratulations to Minority leader Pelosi.  Let's see where they go from here.

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Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 01:07 PM PDT

Michael Sam released

by shaso

He had a good preseason, but got caught in a number crunch and doesn't appear to be based on anything other than football ability.  Still could very well be picked up on waivers by another team.  I think they probably waited til the last minute in an effort to trade him so there will probably be some interest. That will be announced tomorrow at noon.

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Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:42 PM PDT

Books to TV reviews - Outlander/Longmire

by shaso

It seems like in the last decade their have been a lot of adaptions of books to the small screen just as there have to the big screen.  Some have been more successful than others.  The granddaddy of them all would have to A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones, but True Blood, Dexter, Pretty Little Liars, The Walking Dead and Sherlock have had a great deal of success as well.  There are others as well that are more of a mixed bag/outright failures:  Legend of the Seeker[based on Goodkind's books], Dresden Files, Lying Game, Pillars of Earth, Under the Dome.  I'm sure there are others as well.  House of Cards and Orange is the New Black might be based on books as well[or based on a series based on books].  Feel free to discuss other adaptations as well.  Looking over the list I think one thing is clear:  the closer the adaptations stay to the books the better.  This makes sense.  The books aren't popular because the author is good at naming characters; they are popular because the author is good at telling a story.  So if you don't stick with that story than you are just throwing darts coming up with a new story.

The Dresden Files and Legend of the Seeker were both hot messes since they both seemed to have little resemblance to the series on which they purported to be based other than rough sketches of the main characters and their names.  I recently read two books that I thought I'd look at in more depth that were adapted for television:  Outlander and the Cold Dish.  Follow me over the squiggle for spoilers galore though I won't give away the ending to The Cold Dish.

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Quick diary.  The Supreme Court released Noel Canning this morning.  In a 5-4 decision the liberal wing largely upheld recess appointments, but said that 3 days was too short of a recess so ruled the appointments in question invalid.  Pretty much the reasoning seemed to be presidents have been doing this for 150 years and no one objected til now so it must be ok.  Scalia wrote a vigorous dissent[technically a concurrence since the actual judgement was unanimous] that would have done away with all recess appointments except perhaps for those in the 12 hours between sessions at the beginning of January.

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Surprise, Surprise.  In an act that can only be described as jealously guarding its own turf, the Standing Committee of Correspondents ruled yesterday that scotusblog's Lyle Denniston couldn't have his press credential renewed for the Senate because scotusblog isn't an independent news organization.  Scotusblog's response can be read there, but more details after the squiggle.

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Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 06:28 PM PDT

USA victory celebration thread

by shaso

The one arena left where naked nationalism is still acceptable, indeed encouraged:  international sporting competitions.  The USA played its first World Cup game tonight; they beat Ghana 2-1.  They scored at will when the score was tied[Dempsey after 34 seconds, and Brooks 4 minutes after Ghana tied], but looked mediocre at best and out of shape when they were ahead.  But a win is a win, and regardless of what happens from here on out will be considered a respectable showing by USA.  One more point will likely see them advance[especially if it comes Sunday against Portugal], and even 2 narrow losses leaves them hope if Germany beats Ghana and Ghana beats Portugal which isn't inconceivable.

So enjoy it while it lasts America, and enjoy the ride.  Every game except Iran v Nigeria[during which I found myself rooting for Iran] has been very enjoyable viewing and the games air at fairly convenient times for the USA and the east coast especially.

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SCOTUS has ruled this morning that POM Wonderful can proceed with their suit against Coca-Cola under the Lanham Act which allows competitors to sue over misleading descriptions of products.  Coca-Cola had argued, and a lower court agreed with it, that the labeling of food is the sole domain of the FDA and they are the only ones who can object.  Note the decision is just on whether POM Wonderful can contest their suit, and not whether or not they will ultimately prevail on the merits.

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Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:41 AM PDT

Twentieth century

by shaso

So I was driving in my car listening to the news on the radio, and they were talking about the Irish Church dead baby scandal.  They referred to it as happening in the 20th century.  Not the 1920s to 1960s, or even just the Twenties to the Sixties, but the 20th century as if they were referring to the 19th or 18th centuries.  When did this happen?  I'm closing in on living half my life in the 21st century in not too many years, but for some reason I still think of it as the 20th century and the 21st century as the (arriving) future.  I mean if you asked me straight out what century it is, I'd say the 21st, but in my thinking I don't really think that.  So when did other people internalize the change?

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When did you internalize that it is the 21st century?

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| 7 votes | Vote | Results

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As reported by scotusblog, the Supreme Court unanimously granted the Little Sisters, catholic nuns, a stay on the contraception mandate of the ACA.  Oh wait, did I say the contraception mandate; I meant the requirement to file a form 700 with the government.  Because in this case the government doesn't dispute the fact that they are a qualifying religious organization exempt from the mandate.  But how is the government supposed to know they are exempt if they don't tell them you might ask.

Well in a decision that can only be described as kabuki theater at its most sublime, SCOTUS has decided that in lieu of the form the nuns can submit a formal written declaration that they should be exempt.  It is not clear what form this declaration should take, but I would assume form 700 would be a good reference for how exactly it should look.  The SCOTUS is very good at kabuki theater.  They are the ones that claim their decisions are released as soon as they are done; it is just a coincidence that for major cases this always seems to be the last week of the session.

I've never understood why buying insurance isn't like having cable TV.  I might not want FOX News or A&E, but it comes with everything else that I do want just because it is easier.  And it wouldn't really be any cheaper if I didn't get it, because than the channels I do want would be more expensive as other people didn't want them.  And if one day I want to watch one of them, well they are there just in case.  No need to make a federal case out of the fact that Fox News shows up on my cable.

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Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 10:02 AM PST

Arpaio puts prisoners on bread and water

by shaso

Our favorite sheriff, Joe Arpaio, is at it again.  Putting prisoners on bread and water, which I can't imagine is healthy for you, even if for only 7 days.  And their horrible offense that precipitated this cruel and unusual punishment?  They had defaced some flags that had been put in their cells.  Now why exactly would you put something in prisoners' jail cells and not expect it to be defaced?  All I can come up with is that Arpaio is crazy.  How exactly is he still in office again?

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The Arizona Corporation Commission ruled yesterday that the connection fee that houses with solar panels would have to pay to be connected to the grid was $4.90 a month.  There was a highly recommended diary in anticipation so I thought people would be interested in how it turned out.  Personally, I think $4.90/month is a perfectly reasonable fee considering that people are still benefiting and need the grid even if their net usage is zero.   It's hard for me to tell how realistic the $50-100 numbers ever were in the first place.  Were they a scare tactic by the people who wanted $0 to drum up outrage, or were they a negotiation ploy by APS to get their $4.90?  I mean hell, $100 is nearly our entire non-summer electric bill for a fairly large house.  

So hopefully now that we know the real number is only $4.90, we can have a more reasoned discussion.

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The weekly numbers for initial unemployment claims were released this morning.  The seasonally adjusted weekly number for the week ending 9/7 was 292,000.  For the record, the more reliable but less interesting 4-week moving average was 321,250, an improvement of 7,500.  While round numbers are slightly arbitrary, I still think it is very surprising that it would drop below 300k and encouraging news for the economy after a disappointing jobs report last friday.  It is standard practice to revise the number up 1-3,000 the following week, but it would be extremely unusual for it to be revised up enough to go above 300k.

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