Augusta wind

“As Maine goes,” said ancient political wisdom, “so goes the nation.” Here’s one case where I’d like to see us follow their lead:

The Maine House on Wednesday took a decisive stance against blending ethanol into gasoline, giving initial approval to a bill that would ban the corn-based additive from motor fuel if two other New England states pass similar laws.

The House voted 109-32 in favor of LD 115, a bill sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake, R-Turner, that would ban the sale of ethanol-containing gasoline in the state. The prohibition would only take effect if two other New England states passed similar laws.

Opponents united under the “But … but … the Feds!” banner:

“The federal government requires significant use of renewable fuel, and currently ethanol is the only viable option,” said Rep. Joan Welsh, D-Rockport, who is chairman of the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee. “There’s no cost-effective source of nonethanol fuel currently available.”

Now what are the chances that two other New England states will follow suit? Probably next to nil. Previous versions of New Hampshire might have, but the current state motto, “Live Free, Or At Least Cheaper Than Boston,” doesn’t allow for that sort of thing. And Connecticut would make you pour Dom Perignon in your tank if they thought it would cut carbon emissions. At least it’s cheaper than inkjet refills.

(Via Autoblog Green.)

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Fark blurb of the week

Florida restaurant pulls controversial lion tacos off the menu after huge uproar.

(Linked to this. Note this prime remark: “Now, however, serving lion meat is becoming a point of pride.”)

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Everybody must get stone

But perhaps not thirty stone:

Tammy Jung, 23, was once a healthy eight-stone teenager who wore skinny jeans, loved playing volleyball and going out with friends.

But in a bizarre reversal of a crash diet, Tammy turned her back on her slim good looks, and spends her days indoors stuffing herself with fried chicken, donuts and whole blocks of cheese.

If the first three letters that popped into your head were WTF, you are not alone.

The once svelte young woman is piling on the pounds to earn money as a Big Beautiful Woman on internet websites and hopes to one day top 30 stone.

This is more than I’ve ever weighed, and I’ve been on the chunky side of the ledger for some time now. Then again, I’m still alive:

Dr Claude Matar, of the Pasadena Weight Loss Center, said: “It’s very straightforward, she is causing her life to be shorter.

“She has taken the risk of dying early. Her potential for dying early was over 100 per cent.”

Over 100 percent? It’s a wonder she can even hold her Bloomberg-disapproved soft drink.

(Via Fark.)

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Get clicking

WordPress, for some reason, prefers to create a new dynamic page when you click on the Comments link, though there’s still some code in the base that supports an actual pop-up window. (Now and then I’ve thought about implementing it, but so many browsers today have pop-up blockers enabled by default that I just couldn’t find it in my heart, which is cold and flinty anyway, to go through with it.)

Bill Quick used to have Daily Pundit set up to do comments inline — click the link and they’d appear under the post automagically — but no more:

The problem is that they are apparently a major security risk. I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out how to do comments inline — all of them automatically appearing beneath the post — but with the newer versions of WordPress, this becomes quite difficult, and is beyond my coding skills.

I hadn’t heard this, but I tend to be suspicious of Ajax stuff on general principle.

So, unless and until I can come up with something that will actually work and not expose my server to constant hack attempts, we’re going to have to do it the way just about everybody else does: If you want to leave a comment, or read them, you’ll have to click through to do it.

Life is like that sometimes.

Oddly, I had inline comments — in read mode, anyway — more than a decade ago, but that was when the whole site was hand-coded and there were fewer black-hatted types trying to weasel their way in.

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Dad, will you please get off the computer?

Once again, something I didn’t notice is noticed:

Funny observation popped up in discussion [on an irrelevant topic]: among man-bloggers who are fathers majority are those with daughters. Women-bloggers, as noted, do not exhibit this particular trait — they are mothers as often to boys as to girls.

Which prompts some speculation:

[U]nderlying connection between man’s ability to write coherent texts and raising a female? what could be genetic condition for this correlation? Etc, etc.

I’m not quite sure what, if anything, I can extrapolate from my own experience. When my daughter was born, I was a terrible writer; today, 35 years later, I am, um, less terrible. Does my son, 32 this year, affect this in any way? How about the grandchildren (four boys, two girls)?

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Google knows best

While Google’s Chrome browser is now firmly ensconced in the top three — some sources actually have it at number one — it’s at best a poor fourth around here. Then again, I have readers like this:

[W]hen I am doing a lot of scrolling it seems to switch into some mode where it keeps scrolling. The cursor changes and this little four-arrowed floating icon appears. Click anywhere and it reverts back to normal mode, usually. I am not sure what it’s for, or how it works exactly. All I know is that somehow it is not doing what I want it to do anymore, it’s doing what it thinks is best. Perhaps someday I will try it out and see if it could possibly be useful, but for right now I cancel it as quick as I can. Do what I tell you, you stupid machine, not what you think I want you to do.

Or what it secretly wants you to do in the first place, which is always a possibility.

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Forever and a day

This forgotten (though not by me) Lesley Gore track from the middle 1970s is perfect for the subject at hand:

Our days are numbered. Must they be?

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You shouldn’t be out in this mess

But since you are, you might as well try to save your neck, or at least the other guy’s:

[P]ull off the road already and wait it out if the weather scares you so badly. No, not on the side of the road, dummy — someone will come along and rear end you, and you might get hurt as well. Nope, find a driveway or a side road and get the f&(k outta the way. If you are on an interstate or some such, do not pull under an overpass and park on the side of the road. For the same reason. Exit the damn road, stupid.

I admit to having breached this protocol once: on I-75 in north-central Florida, where the traffic was moving at a brisk 80 mph despite the fact that you couldn’t see as far as the trailing edge of your wipers. I found the very edge of the pavement — the breakdown lane was nice and wide — and sat there until the storm had passed. There was a little Mazda3 about 100 feet in front of me; I’d been following it since Georgia, but hadn’t been able to see it at all for the past twenty miles, and never saw it pull off.

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Cabinet repairs

Penny Pritzker has been nominated to head the Department of Commerce, presumably on the basis of her cash-bundling abilities. She would replace Rebecca Blank, interim Secretary since John Bryson took ill last year. (That’s “Blank.” With an N.)

Is this worth three hundred words? Perhaps not:

It’s clear that presidents need the Department of Commerce, so they have a place to stash their friends who’ve brought in the cash. But it’s not clear that the rest of us need a Department of Commerce. A bit of research shows Americans were engaged in commerce even before we became a country. Colonists farmed, fished and traded like crazy. And that was more than a century before the Department of Commerce was formed in 1903. Amazing!

Everyone’s supposedly looking for places to cut wasteful government spending. Instead of laying off air traffic controllers, we could turn the knife toward Commerce. Don’t just leave it without a leader, go ahead and shut down the while thing and let’s see what happens. Probably nobody’ll even notice, as is the case with most of the sequester cuts.

Both Rick Perry and Ron Paul, during their 2012 Presidential campaigns, proposed the abolition of Commerce. And so did Barack Obama, kinda sorta:

Mr. Obama called on lawmakers to grant him broad new powers to propose mergers of agencies, which Congress would then have to approve or reject in an up-or-down vote. If granted the authority, he said, he would begin pruning by folding the Small Business Administration and five other trade and business agencies into a single agency that would replace the Commerce Department.

The White House estimated that the consolidation would save $3 billion over 10 years and result in reductions of 1,000 to 2,000 jobs.

Now $3 billion is to the Feds what the change under your sofa cushions is to you; still, the idea of anything in Washington being shrunk has a certain visceral appeal.

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Unkerncerned

You all remember Sally Kern: mid-60s, drives a minivan, represents House District 84 on the west side of Oklahoma County, agonizes constantly over LGBT matters but has presumably learned a modicum of discretion in such matters. Husband Steve has decided to take a few days away from his pulpit to run for Senate District 40 next year, what with Cliff Branan being term-limited out of the office.

Truth be told, I don’t think Reverend Steve ought to give up his day job: District 40 is decidedly bluer than Sally’s turf, extending as it does into old-money Democrat territories south of Nichols Hills. (I’ve lived here ten years; I keep track.) And there are two other Republicans in the race: deputy County Commissioner Michael Taylor and property-management magnate Brian Winslow. Both these guys come from the fiscal-conservative side of the aisle, and surely one of them could force Kern into a runoff. If there are any Democrats in the race, they haven’t filed campaign reports yet.

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Definitely pinworthy

Source: secret-stockings.com via Raquel on Pinterest


I have no shortage of female acquaintances, mirabile dictu, but maybe half a dozen of them at most could pull off this look.

Feel free to lecture me for looking fondly at this while spurning fishnets.

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She has a snack for you

Just for the fun of it, here’s a photo from the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, at the College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. From left to right: Rusty McKee, Ellsworth McKee, Debbie McKee-Fowler, and Senator Bob Corker.

Various McKees at UTC

All those McKees are connected to privately held McKee Foods in nearby Collegedale: Debbie, 57-ish, is an executive vice president. Here’s a newly stylized rendering of how she looked at four:

Little Debbie logo

Uh-huh. And how did this happen, anyway?

Inspired by a picture of his four-year-old granddaughter in her favorite battered straw hat, O.D. [McKee] decided to name the new cakes after her — Little Debbies. Neither Debbie nor her parents knew that she was the new face of the brand until after the first package came off the assembly line.

And I’m out of Swiss Rolls, dagnabbit.

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A load of sheet

Another one of those remarkable Karl Denninger comparisons:

The so-called “increase” in your wages are an intentional chimera which is thrown to you to make you “feel good” about your earnings “going up.” But in point of fact they’re not going up at all, they are going down because the divisor, the total number of dollars in the system that are available to buy the goods and services are rising much faster than your earnings are.

The fraud you’re being sold is exactly identical to going into a bakery and ordering a sheet cake. The baker asks you how many pieces you would like the cake cut into; your options are 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32. He then tells you that if you’re really hungry you should choose 32, because that way you can eat more pieces.

You’d either laugh at the baker or string him up by his necktie were he to pull that crap, yet this is exactly what Ben Bernanke along with all the politicians have been selling you for the last 30 years.

When I was in fourth grade, I read Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, which makes similar economic points. It’s stuck with me for half a century. No wonder students don’t read it anymore.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Shop accordingly

There are times I don’t want to be caught dead in a grocery store: when there’s a tornado watch, right before an OU football game, or right after the first of the month. To explain the latter:

It’s not just food stamps. It’s social security and disability checks as well. I see it when I shop at Costco. I’ve learned to avoid the place like the plague right after the first of the month, when a huge percentage of government checks get rolled out, and the place is jammed.

I admittedly haven’t always had the option of going the day before, or the day after, but now that I do, I take advantage of it whenever necessary.

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Ongoing deZooeyfication

Last week I pointed out that Hannah Simone of New Girl was starting to look like Zooey Deschanel. This is perhaps a Good Thing, since based on the evidence presented at the Met Ball, Zooey Deschanel doesn’t want to look like Zooey Deschanel anymore:

Zooey Deschanel at the Met Ball

The only visible trace of ZD’s patented quirkiness is the fact that she wore seersucker — and a sort of lavender seersucker at that — to a gathering where the prescribed dress was “PUNK: From Chaos to Couture.” (Now Madonna, she’s clearer on the concept.)

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The Alfa male

Joe Sherlock — who, incidentally, owns a ’39 Plymouth — is not at all sanguine about Fiat’s absorption of most of Chrysler:

AutoExtremist Peter De Lorenzo has written that the Fiat-Chrysler “merger” — more like a twisted-up Gordian knot of perverted capitalism — was “never about saving Chrysler or rescuing its poor, downtrodden minions. And it was never about doing good for the perennially mocked City of Detroit or the domestic automobile industry for that matter, either. For Marchionne it was about taking over Chrysler, sucking every last dime out of it and using those profits to bolster Fiat, the Italian automaker whose reign as a perennial joke in this business goes back multiple decades.”

Well, yeah. Marchionne talks PR with the best of them. Then again, anyone who saw Daimler’s “merger of equals” with Chrysler in 1998 got to see exactly the same scenario: there was cash in Auburn Hills, and the Europeans planned to get it any way they could. And once they got it, they tossed the forlorn husk to a band of vulture capitalists. Would Marchionne do the same? I’m not quite sure. I suspect that for right now, wearing those two CEO hats suits his style — sort of Carlos Ghosn with pesto — but things can change at the drop of either hat.

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