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You know that economy thing? Well, it just keeps getting better all the time (cue Beetles song). NPR is reporting this morning (based on an AP survey) that economists are now seeing the economy improving FASTER than they had been expecting just two months ago.

AP Survey: More Optimism About US Jobs And Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is improving faster than economists had expected. They now foresee slightly stronger growth and hiring than they did two months earlier — trends that would help President Barack Obama's re-election hopes.
So, despite all of the roadblocks being put up by the right, things continue to improve and the signs are there that they will continue to improve through November. It's a shame that we can't have the sorts of policy (increased public spending, hiring, construction, etc) that would drive this recovery faster, but the current climate pretty much makes that impossible.

Which is, of course, why we all need to get out and rock the vote. Take back the House and strengthen our control of the Senate so that Obama will have the tools he needs to drive things forward in 2013 and beyond.

I'd also like to add a personal observation to the above linked economic survey. This past weekend I had to go to a local Apple store at the mall to get the back on my iPhone replaced and to buy a birthday present for my son who just turned 19. This is a mall at which I have shopped many times over the years, most recently just before Christmas and then again in January when I needed a new jacket for a business trip.

Let me tell you, Christmas time was depressing, the place was empty. A ghost town. January wasn't much different, but to some degree that was to be expected, it was post holiday rushes and even post the holiday return season. Still, the lack of people was really startling.

This Saturday it was a completely different story. The parking lot was packed, cars every where. And once we go inside, it was just as packed. People everywhere, kids, parents, old people. Every table in the food court was occupied, stores were overflowing with people. At the Apple store I had to wade through the crowd to get to the Genius Bar and I actually had to WAIT to get serviced. It was a mad house. Gotta say, it was a nice change from December and January.

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From their Facebook page, after 72+ hours of unrelenting pressure:

ProFlowers Facebook Wall

PROFLOWERS STATEMENT
At ProFlowers, our mission is to delight our customers with fresh and long lasting flowers, and that is our singular focus each and every day. We do not base our advertising decisions to align with any particular political view or opinion as our employees and customers are as diverse as the USA. Mr. Limbaugh’s recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio program.
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This is really short because I'm being called to dinner. After more than 48 hours of unrelenting pressure, Carbonite CEO David Friend has finally announced that Carbonite is pulling support from Rush Limbaugh's show.

Carbonite To Drop Ads From Limbaugh's Show Despite Apology

“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”
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Hat tip to David Brin (man, I love your work) for his posting on Rick "Nehemiah" Santorum this morning which prompted me to put up this little thought experiment with poll.

Read David's diary here:

Rick is on a Roll! The Stunning Sincerity of Rick "Nehemiah" Santorum

Anyway, here goes.

You awake to find yourself sitting in a chain in a room. The room has a single exit, a door which is sealed airtight and beyond your ability to open. There are no other exits, air vents, etc. The room is completely airtight and you realize that you will eventually suffocate if the door is not opened.

Before you is a table upon which sit three glasses and a note. The note reads "Drink one of these glasses and the door will open". The three glasses contain:

A) Low Sodium V8 Juice
B) New Cherry Coke
C) Sulfuric Acid

What do you do?

I have to go off to a job interview in a bit, but I'll update this diary with poll results and some further thoughts when I get back.

Poll

What do you do?

60%17 votes
25%7 votes
3%1 votes
10%3 votes

| 28 votes | Vote | Results

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OMFG! Seriously?

Many diaries lately on the whole contraception brouhahahahahahaha have mentioned the FACT that 98% of Catholic women have used birth control. Since I'm likely to end up discussing this issue with one of more co-worker of the moderately insane variety, I figured I would go ahead and pre-arm myself with an actual citation for this FACT.

Here is that study.

In doing my research (5 minutes on teh google) I came across a piece from our dear friends at Politifact (the use of the word "fact" in Politifact is not intended to imply a factual statement).

In Which Politifact Shoves Their Head So Far Up Their (you get the idea)

To cut to the meat of the issue:

It would have been clearest if Muñoz had specified she was talking about women who have had sex — and perhaps that the statistic referred to women ages 15 to 44. But her statement was otherwise accurate. We rate it Mostly True.
Well, stick a condom on my head and roll me in powdered sugar (note, powdered sugar is NOT a contraceptive)!

Seriously, we've gotten to the point where when discussing a survey or women who have used contraception we need to specify that a 98% figure is among women who have HAD SEX?

I now rate Politifact as "Mostly full of shit", but only because the other 2% is Santorum.

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Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 07:46 AM PST

You're Fired

by Roiling Snake Ball

You're fired.

That's what I would say this morning to the media campaign managers for Winning the Future and for Newt Gingrich's campaign. I would not take this action lightly, as (unlike Mitt Romney) I do not actually enjoy firing people. The few times I have had to do so have been personally very difficult (well, except for the one time when I fired an industrial spy, but that's another story). Never the less, these people need to be fired for their complete and utter incompetence (or worse).

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