Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gov Brownback helps those on welfare

From the pen of Brian McFadden

The grid doesn't care which way the power flows

But the owners of the electrical grid, still working of the centralized generation model, cares very much about it. And at this time they are struggling very hard to to maintain that business model in the face of growing decentralized generation.
Other states and countries, including California, Arizona, Japan and Germany, are struggling to adapt to the growing popularity of making electricity at home, which puts new pressures on old infrastructure like circuits and power lines and cuts into electric company revenue.

As a result, many utilities are trying desperately to stem the rise of solar, either by reducing incentives, adding steep fees or effectively pushing home solar companies out of the market. In response, those solar companies are fighting back through regulators, lawmakers and the courts.

The shift in the electric business is no less profound than those that upended the telecommunications and cable industries in recent decades. It is already remaking the relationship between power companies and the public while raising questions about how to pay for maintaining and operating the nation’s grid.

The issue is not merely academic, electrical engineers say.

In solar-rich areas of California and Arizona, as well as in Hawaii, all that solar-generated electricity flowing out of houses and into a power grid designed to carry it in the other direction has caused unanticipated voltage fluctuations that can overload circuits, burn lines and lead to brownouts or blackouts...

The economic threat also has electric companies on edge. Over all, demand for electricity is softening while home solar is rapidly spreading across the country. There are now about 600,000 installed systems, and the number is expected to reach 3.3 million by 2020, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The Edison Electric Institute, the main utility trade group, has been warning its members of the economic perils of high levels of rooftop solar since at least 2012, and the companies are responding. In February, the Salt River Project, a large utility in Arizona, approved charges that could add about $50 to a typical monthly bill for new solar customers, while last year in Wisconsin, where rooftop solar is still relatively rare, regulators approved fees that would add $182 a year for the average solar customer.

In Hawaii, the current battle began in 2013, when Hawaiian Electric started barring installations of residential solar systems in certain areas. It was an abrupt move — a panicked one, critics say — made after the utility became alarmed by the technical and financial challenges of all those homes suddenly making their own electricity.

The utility wants to cut roughly in half the amount it pays customers for solar electricity they send back to the grid. But after a study showed that with some upgrades the system could handle much more solar than the company had assumed, the state’s public utilities commission ordered the utility to begin installations or prove why it could not.

It was but one sign of the agency’s growing impatience with what it considers the utility’s failure to adapt its business model to the changing market.
There will always be imbalances in the system that requires a grid to redistribute it and the need for a reliable base supply to fill in gaps in supply. These needs won't be nearly as great as in the past but it does require a business model more like a toll road highway system than a one way street.

They still have their AK-47's

But when they want something bigger to blow the shit out of whatever or whoever is out there, they turn to the most reliable supplier of heavy weapons in the world, the US.
As the Middle East descends into proxy wars, sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks, countries in the region that have stockpiled American military hardware are now actually using it and wanting more. The result is a boom for American defense contractors looking for foreign business in an era of shrinking Pentagon budgets — but also the prospect of a dangerous new arms race in a region where the map of alliances has been sharply redrawn.

Last week, defense industry officials told Congress that they were expecting within days a request from Arab allies fighting the Islamic State — Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt — to buy thousands of American-made missiles, bombs and other weapons, replenishing an arsenal that has been depleted over the past year...

Saudi Arabia spent more than $80 billion on weaponry last year — the most ever, and more than either France or Britain — and has become the world’s fourth-largest defense market, according to figures released last week by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks global military spending. The Emirates spent nearly $23 billion last year, more than three times what they spent in 2006.

Qatar, another gulf country with bulging coffers and a desire to assert its influence around the Middle East, is on a shopping spree. Last year, Qatar signed an $11 billion deal with the Pentagon to purchase Apache attack helicopters and Patriot and Javelin air-defense systems. Now the tiny nation is hoping to make a large purchase of Boeing F-15 fighters to replace its aging fleet of French Mirage jets. Qatari officials are expected to present the Obama administration with a wish list of advanced weapons before they come to Washington next month for meetings with other gulf nations.

American defense firms are following the money. Boeing opened an office in Doha, Qatar, in 2011, and Lockheed Martin set up an office there this year. Lockheed created a division in 2013 devoted solely to foreign military sales, and the company’s chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, has said that Lockheed needs to increase foreign business — with a goal of global arms sales’ becoming 25 percent to 30 percent of its revenue — in part to offset the shrinking of the Pentagon budget after the post-Sept. 11 boom.

American intelligence agencies believe that the proxy wars in the Middle East could last for years, which will make countries in the region even more eager for the F-35 fighter jet, considered to be the jewel of America’s future arsenal of weapons. The plane, the world’s most expensive weapons project, has stealth capabilities and has been marketed heavily to European and Asian allies. It has not yet been peddled to Arab allies because of concerns about preserving Israel’s military edge.
If the Pentagon really wants to keep the edge with Israel, they should sell as many F-35's as possible to the Arabs. That flying turd is a golden ticket to a second rate air force.

They attacked us and are still doing it

From Leonard Pitts:

On Sunday, it will be 20 years since the morning a bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and took 168 human lives. Nineteen of those lives belonged to children.

Maybe it take you by surprise that it has been so long. Maybe you wonder where the time went. And maybe you remember...

...the ghastly pictures of that building, the front of it sheared away.

...the firefighter emerging from the rubble, tenderly cradling that dying baby.

...the bloody and lacerated people wandering dazedly from the wreckage.

...the breathless speculation that surely the culprits had to be Muslims.

And maybe you remember, too, that sense of vertiginous shock some people felt when we got our first look at the man who planted the bomb and discovered him to be, not a swarthy Muslim with a heavy beard and hard-to-pronounce name, but a clean-cut, apple pie-faced young white man named Timothy McVeigh. People could not have been more nonplussed if Richie Cunningham had shot up a shopping mall.

But the tragedy was to contain one last surprise. It came when we learned why McVeigh committed his atrocity. It seems he hated the government.

That revelation was our introduction to a world whose very existence most of us had never suspected. Meaning the so-called patriot movement, the armed, radical right-wing extremists who refuse to recognize the authority of the nation’s duly constituted and elected government.

Maybe you remember the news reports of how they spent nights and weekends drilling in the woods, playing soldier in anticipation of the day ZOG — the Zionist Occupied Government — ceded the country to the United Nations and soldiers of the New World Order came rappelling down from black helicopters to seize everybody’s guns. Maybe you remember how crazy it all sounded.

But that was then. Twenty years ago, the idea of anti-government resistance seemed confined to a lunatic fringe operating in the shadows beyond the mainstream.

Twenty years later, it is the mainstream, the beating heart of the Republican Party. And while certainly no responsible figure on the right advocates or condones what he did, it is just as certain that McVeigh’s violent antipathy toward Washington, his conviction that America’s government is America’s enemy, has bound itself to the very DNA of modern conservatism.

It lives in Grover Norquist’s pledge to shrink government down until “we can drown it in the bathtub,” in Chuck Norris’ musing about the need for “a second American revolution,” in Michele Bachmann’s fear that the census is an evil conspiracy. It lives in dozens of right-wing terror plots documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center since the 1995 bombing, including last year’s murder of two police officers and a Walmart shopper by two anti-government activists in Las Vegas. It lives in Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff with federal officials.

These days, it is an article of faith on the political right that “government” is a faceless, amorphous Other. But this government brought itself into being with three words — “We the people” — and they are neither incidental nor insignificant.

Our government may be good, may be bad, may be something in between, but as long as we are a free society, the one thing it always is, is us. Meaning: a manifestation of our common will, a decision a majority of us made. We are allowed to be furious at it, but even in fury, we always have peaceful tools for its overthrow. So there is never a reason to do what McVeigh did.

We all know that, of course. But 20 years after the day they brought babies out of the rubble in pieces would be an excellent time to pause and remind ourselves, just the same.

God has your back

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sarah Jarosz - "Book of Right-On"

From Sarah's most recent album Build Me Up From Bones. This tune qualifies for the bare bones but done so well.

It’s who they’re sucking more than ever.

Bill Maher on the Zombie Lies of Climate Denial

Sequels usually suck

From the pen of David Horsey

Texas House strikes blow against freedom

At the behest of their corporate masters, and in Texas that would be Big Oil, the Texas House of Representatives has voted to rip the rights of Texans to govern themselves from their still living hands, rights hard won by Texans in places like The Alamo and San Jacinto.
The Texas House of Representatives House voted Friday to bar cities from banning fracking and enacting a wide variety of other oil and gas-related ordinances.

Backers rejected arguments that the bill would overturn ordinances that have long been in place in some cities. Municipalities would still be able to adopt ordinances that help mitigate traffic, noise and some setbacks, they said. The bill won approval from the House 122-18.

"This strikes a fine balance," said Republican Rep. Drew Darby. "We tried to use a rifle shot to accommodate the needs of this growing state and the needs to develop the oil and gas resources, and yet protect the citizens of this great state."

Some Democrats argued that municipalities need to have the say to protect public health and safety. The bill could also lead to more litigation between cities and the oil and gas industry, opponents said.

"As it is currently written, it would be a gold mine for lawyers," said Democratic Rep. Sylvester Turner. The "commercially reasonable" standards for oil and gas ordinances would be a "legal haven" for lawyers to challenge, he said.
How nice of them to throw a bone to their legal beagles.

When will we stand with Bernie?

Friday, April 17, 2015

The season for this is almost over

Thanks to the improving weather. Katzenjammer, on the other hand is an all season band, even when they sing "Tea With Cinnamon" from their album Le Pop.

Don't forget Doug Hughes mission.

From the pen of Tom Tole

From the pen of Nick Anderson

So who was first?

Over a hundred years after the fact
, people in Connecticut, North Carolina and Ohio are gearing up for a major fight over who was the first to achieve powered flight. History says it was the Wright Brothers in 1903 but recently IHS Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft published an article stating that Gustav Whitehead of Bridgeport CT achieved that feat in 1901.
In 2013, a well-regarded aviation publication surprised historians by declaring that Mr. Whitehead, a Bridgeport resident, had flown two years before Orville and Wilbur Wright skimmed the dunes of Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina in 1903.

“Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied,” read the headline in the publication, IHS Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft. “Whitehead has been shabbily treated by history,” the publication said.

Mr. Whitehead, a German immigrant, flew his own aircraft above Bridgeport and nearby Fairfield on Aug. 14, 1901, climbing 50 feet into the air and traveling more than a mile, according to the article, which was written by Paul Jackson, the editor of Jane’s.

Connecticut jumped at the chance to claim first-in-flight status, to the consternation of Ohio and North Carolina. The two states had long squabbled over which could claim the Wright brothers, who lived in Dayton but made their historic flight near Kitty Hawk...

Mr. Whitehead has long had his supporters, as have others who claimed to precede the Wrights, and researchers have studied the Whitehead claim since at least the 1930s. In the mid-1980s, Connecticut officials asked the Smithsonian Institution, which owns the Wright brothers’ plane, to hold a public hearing on the matter. No hearing was held.

Determined to prove that Mr. Whitehead’s plane could fly, a group led by a Connecticut teacher, Andy Kosch, built a replica and successfully flew it at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford in 1986, prompting a “60 Minutes” segment titled “Wright Is Wrong?”
We do know his design could have flown and despite a collection of photos of his handicrafts on the ground there is no picture of it in the air. Nor was there any significant publicity of such an event. In that regard the Wright Brothers were more capable and on such skills rests your place in history.

Lucky New Hampshire

With all but the farthest right candidates aware that Iowa is a place where you can spend a shit-ton of resources to try to appeal to a handful of hard core loonies who don't think you are crazy enough, most are looking ahead to the second event, New Hampshire. New Hampshire does have its share of loonies, but it does resemble the standard electoral process.
With every major Republican presidential hopeful descending on New Hampshire this weekend for the state’s first candidate forum, attention will turn for the moment from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s entry into the campaign to the fluid Republican race.

Few of New Hampshire’s influential Republican activists will commit to a candidate based solely on what they see at the two-day gathering in Nashua. But the audition there offers a chance for one of the 19 prospects expected to attend to break out of the pack in a state where there is no clear favorite.
This will be the first chance the candidates will have to present a shred of sanity along with the standard boilerplate crazy. Keep an eye on which clown get shotgun when the car leaves.

The funeral director will handle everything.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

She has been supporting various male musicians

And lord knows, most of them need all the help they can get. Here Esme Patterson stands on her own singing "Never Chase A Man" from her EP Woman To Woman.

He must be wearing Depends

Because The Pissant From The Palmetto Bug State, Miss Lindsey Graham, seems to be afraid of just about everything yet shows no sign of pissing his pants. His latest quiverfest was prompted by the landing of Doug Hughes in his USPS Air Force F-1/3 autogyro.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in an interview on "The Hugh Hewitt Show," a conservative radio broadcast, expressed shock that Hughes was able to get so close to the Capitol.

"He should have been subject to being shot out of the sky," Graham said.
But then his fears took hold of him and he added,
"I don’t know why he wasn’t, but our nation is under siege. Radical Islam is a threat to our homeland. There are probably radical Islamic cells in our backyard already. And if somebody is willing to, you know, approach vital government infrastructure, they should do so at their own peril."
Poor Miss Lindsey, how eveh does she sleep at night?

Wheel of Ill Fortune

From the pen of Nick Anderson

He may be infallible, but he is not all powerful

Despite what we on the outside may think, Pope Francis is in the middle of an archaic and all too conservative bureaucracy that doesn't hesitate to exercise the power of the pillow against Popes it doesn't like. With this in mind, it is good to see him take the various steps toward a more Christlike church even if they do come slowly.
The Vatican abruptly ended its takeover of the main leadership group of American nuns on Thursday, allowing Pope Francis to put to rest a confrontation started by his predecessor that had created an uproar among American Catholics who came to the sisters’ defense.

Four of the leaders of the American nuns’ group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, were called to an unexpected meeting on Thursday with Pope Francis in the Vatican that lasted 50 minutes. He did not speak publicly, but the sisters said afterward in a statement that they were “deeply heartened” by Francis’ “expression of appreciation” for the lives and ministry of Catholic sisters.

The sweeping investigation of American women’s religious orders was begun under Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, at the urging of American and some foreign prelates who accused the sisters of disobeying the bishops and departing from Catholic doctrine. It set off protests by Catholic laypeople across the country, who signed petitions and sent letters to the Vatican in defense of the sisters.

The matter has now been brought to an early conclusion by Francis, who has never spoken directly about it in public but has often talked of the important role of women in the church and the nuns and priests in religious orders. He himself is a member of the Jesuit order.

The news came in a brief report issued jointly by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the three American bishops who had been appointed by the Vatican three years ago to take over and overhaul the organization.

The report cast the process as one of “collaboration,” saying, “Our extensive conversations were marked by a spirit of prayer, love for the Church, mutual respect, and cooperation. We found our conversations to be mutually beneficial.”
With each step the church gets better, but will he have time to insure a successor who will cary on his work?

A widow, her home and the Bank that tried to steal it.

And steal is the operative word because Bank of America was well aware all the time that they were taking her money that her husband had bought an insurance policy to keep her in the house. They knew because they made her husband buy the policy.
Biggs was the subject of a story by McClatchy in December 2013 that documented how she was about to lose her home days before Christmas. Bank of America’s bill collector was telling her the home was not her husband’s primary residence. It couldn’t be: He was dead. Mitchell did reside on the premises – in an urn.

The McClatchy report helped stall the foreclosure. In the months that followed, Bank of America’s subsidiary offered Biggs a mortgage modification that added more than $30,000 in miscellaneous fees and legal fees and charges to the loan. That would have sucked out the equity she’d built up in the home. Her pro bono lawyer demanded a list of specifics on the fees.

One stood out to George Bosch, a legal administrator who worked on her case for the Los Angeles law firm of Edward Lopez. It was passed off as a fee but didn’t seem normal. Was it an insurance premium, he asked?

“Silence on the other end of the phone. They didn’t want to answer the question,” said Bosch.

A few days later, the answer came. Yes, it was an insurance premium, for a policy underwritten by Miami-based American Bankers Life Assurance Co. of Florida.

Her late husband had taken out a $100,000 policy with the original mortgage with NationsCredit Financial Services Corp., the subsidiary of Bank of America that specialized in lending to poor borrowers. He owed about $120,000 on the home when he died. That should have left his widow – now sole owner of the house – with little problem in paying off, over time, the remainder of the loan.

Instead, when she fell on hard times in 2011, Select Portfolio Servicing began a two-year move on behalf of the lender to take her home – even as they continued to collect the premiums on the insurance policy.

“I didn’t know that the insurance policy existed . . . but I had told them about my husband passing,” Biggs told McClatchy in an interview. “They had several opportunities to tell me that there was a life insurance policy, and they just didn’t.”

The law appears murky on notification requirements, but lawyers for Biggs argue that she should have been afforded the basic contractual obligations of good faith and fair dealing.

A spokesman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said there were no hard numbers for how many complaints the bureau had received from surviving family members like Biggs about such insurance issues. But the treatment of mortgages and surviving family members is a big enough concern that the bureau established new protections that took effect in January 2014. Last November, the bureau proposed additional rules to make it harder for lenders and their bill collectors to foreclose on properties that have passed to surviving spouses or children.
There is no reason for a bank to be doing this except when senior management is squeezing the minions to "make their numbers" by any means possible. And when you have a major bank constantly in deep shit being run by a bozo who was the only one who wanted the job, this level of fraud is both understandable and very likely rife throughout the organization.

The Good Old Days - Your Inigo Montoya Moment

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Maura sings & Jerry plays dobro

On Jerry Douglas' 2002 album Lookout For Hope. The singer is Maura O'Connell and the song is "Footsteps Fall"

Are any of the clowns man enough to take her on?

From the pen of David Horsey

Black? Check! Poor? Check! OK build that chemical plant

Those may not be the only criteria for industrial plant placement in Texas, but they are given extra weight by the real Texans who don't want those damn plants in their neighborhoods.
White residents make up a majority of Texas City’s population, according to recent census data, followed by Latinos. Plants flank much of the port of Texas City, including Trylas’ century-old black community, which was settled just after the Civil War by newly freed former slaves and cowboys. A more affluent, majority-white part of the city is home to a flurry of mini-malls, franchises and chain stores, including Starbucks.

Should Fund Connell USA Energy and Chemical Investment Corp. — a Delaware-incorporated enterprise of Chinese politician-entrepreneurs Song Zhiping and Zhang Jun — decide not to build the plant in Texas City, according to local media reports, it has eyed an alternative location in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, another predominantly black community, which after the Civil War was one of the largest African-American communities in the United States.

It remains unclear why Song and Zhang considered Donaldsonville, but according to The Galveston County Daily News, the office of then-Gov. Rick Perry directed the Chinese bid to Don Gartman, then the president of the Galveston County Economic Alliance (GCEA), which oversees Texas City development. The GCEA, Texas governor’s office and Perry’s representatives and affiliated organizations did not respond to a request for interview at time of publication.

“In many cases, it’s the foreign companies targeting the black communities here,” said Robert Bullard, the dean of the Texas Southern University School of Public Affairs, who in environmentalist circles is known as the father of environmental justice for his research on and advocacy against environmental racism.

“Now with globalization, you’re getting the companies coming from places with very poor track records on environmentalism … locating in the poorest communities and acting with impunity,” he added.

Not only are black communities being targeted for enterprises that Bullard called “poisonous,” but also the benefits to those communities remain unclear.

“We should be rich,” said Michelle Trotter, 49, another resident of Texas City’s black neighborhood, which is dotted with boarded-up homes abandoned after hurricanes. “The money from the plants isn’t coming to us. We don’t have the right leadership or lawyers.” She said her community has yet to see any trickle-down effect from the number of petrochemical plants just blocks from their homes.

“This community can’t even afford to bury our loved ones,” Trylas said.
Hell, its Texas. There are more than enough buzzards around to take care of the dead ones.

You run a legal business, licensed by the state

But when you file your federal taxes, you can not take advantage of any of the myriad business deductions. Because any business involvement in the marijuana industry is considered illegal by the IRS, you pay full freight on all the money you make.
While most business owners rush to meet the federal tax deadline and cash in on a plethora of deductions, pot store owners and growers complain that they can’t write off a single expense, even if they have state licenses.

They want the law changed, saying it’s discriminatory and outdated as more states move to legalize marijuana.

“We don’t want special favors – we just want to be treated like businesspeople,” said Nick Cihlar of Bellingham, Wash., co-owner of Subdued Excitement Inc., a company in nearby Ferndale that grows marijuana for Washington state retailers.

The ban on deductions by the Internal Revenue Service is in place for one reason: Congress has declared every pot transaction a felony crime.
Our beloved Congress would probably operate much better if they chilled out with a few bong hits, before and after sessions.

Always go 1st Class

That's for sure!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

All I Want

Australian singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko from her 2009 album As Day Follows Night.

I like trucks, big trucks.

From the pen of Bill Day

Good thing we spent all that time & money on the Iraqi Army

If, after only 4 years it has become a complete shambles, just think how bad it would have been without us? Time for us to crank up the old trainers and drop the equivalent cost of several F-35's in pasting it back together again, until next we leave again.
These soldiers are among 300 from the 5-73 Squadron of the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army, about half of them trainers, the rest support and force protection. Stationed at this old Iraqi military base 20 miles north of Baghdad, they are as close as it gets to American boots on the ground in Iraq.

Back now for the first time since the United States left in 2011, none of them thought they would be here again, let alone return to find the Iraqi Army they had once trained in such disrepair.

Colonel Schwemmer said he was stunned at the state in which he found the Iraqi soldiers when he arrived here. “It’s pretty incredible,” he said. “I was kind of surprised. What training did they have after we left?”

Apparently, not much. The current, woeful state of the Iraqi military raises the question not so much of whether the Americans left too soon, but whether a new round of deployments for training will have any more effect than the last.

Iraq’s army looked good on paper when the Americans left, after one of the biggest training missions carried out under wartime conditions. But after that, senior Iraqi officers began buying their own commissions, paying for them out of the supply, food and payroll money of their troops. Corruption ran up and down the ranks; desertion was rife.

The army did little more than staff checkpoints. Then, last year, four divisions collapsed overnight in Mosul and elsewhere in northern Iraq under the determined assault of Islamic State fighters numbering in the hundreds or at most the low thousands, and the extremists’ advance came as far as this base.
The US did a good job of training the troops, but had no influence over the officers who only saw a chance to make money and gain influence in a weak political structure. And so corruption make a mockery of all the sacrifice and money and effort put into the Iraqi Army. So here we go again.

Can't get help from the IRS?

Do remember to place the blame on the Republicans as John Oliver explains why and why we need the IRS, with some help from Michael Bolton.

How much longer can we abide?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday is the best

"Never On A Sunday" was the Oscar winning song of 1960. In this version, French star Dalida sings in English, except for the middle verse. That verse was about our happy hooker dreaming of having children who follow in her footsteps. It was never sung in this country.

The video is in no way in synch with the song. It was just a cobbed up bunch of clips and stills.

Oh you can kiss me on a Monday, a Monday, a Monday
Is very, very good
Or you can kiss me on a Tuesday, a Tuesday, a Tuesday
In fact I wish you would
Or you can kiss me on a Wednesday, a Thursday, a Friday
A Saturday is best
But never, never on a Sunday, a Sunday, a Sunday
Cause that's my day of rest

Come any day and you will be my guest
Oh, any day you say, but my day of rest
Just name the day that you like the best
Only stay away from my day of rest

Je rêve aussi d'avoir un jour
Un enfant, deux enfants, trois enfants jouant comme eux
Le long du quai flânent toujours
Un marin, deux marins, trois marins aventureux
De notre amour on se fera
Un amour, dix amours, mille amours noyés de bleu
Et nos enfants feront des gars
Que les filles un beau jour à leur tour, rendront heureux

Mon Dieu que j'aime ce port du bout du monde
Que le soleil inonde de ses reflets dorés
Mon Dieu que j'aime, sous leurs bonnets oranges
Tous les visages d'anges des enfants du Pirée.

Oh, you can kiss me on a cool day, a hot day, a wet day
Whichever one you choose
Or try to kiss me on a fey day, a Mayday, a payday
And see if I refuse
Or you can make it on a bleak day, a freak day, a week day
Whichever is the best
But never, never on a Sunday, a Sunday
The one day I need a little rest

Come any day and you will be my guest
Oh, any day you say but my day of rest
Just name the day that you like the best
Only stay away from my day of rest

La la la la la...
La la la la la la...

One trick elephant

It's not hard to understand

And Tom Tomorrow let's Officer Friendly step forward and make it clear to all the children.

R.I.P. Richard L. Bare

Without you Arnold Ziffel would never have become a star. And some guy named Garner, too.

Another great river reduced to a trickle

This time it is the Rio Grande, which may soon be called the Río Minúsculo.
On maps, the mighty Rio Grande meanders 1,900 miles, from southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. But on the ground, farms and cities drink all but a trickle before it reaches the canal that irrigates Bobby Skov’s farm outside El Paso, hundreds of miles from the gulf.

Now, shriveled by the historic drought that has consumed California and most of the Southwest, that trickle has become a moist breath.

“It’s been progressively worse” since the early 2000s, Mr. Skov said during a pickup-truck tour of his spread last week, but he said his farm would muddle through — if the trend did not continue. “The jury’s out on that,” he said...

The perils of drought are on ample display along the Rio Grande, where a rising thirst has tested farmers, fueled environmental battles over vanishing fish and pushed a water-rights dispute between Texas and New Mexico to the Supreme Court.

But you can also see glimmers of hope. Albuquerque, the biggest New Mexico city along the Rio Grande, has cut its water consumption by a quarter in 20 years even as its population has grown by a third. Irrigation districts and farmers — which consume perhaps seven of every 10 gallons of river water — are turning to technology and ingenuity to make use of every drop of water given them.

John Fleck, a journalist and scholar at the University of New Mexico Water Resources Program who is finishing a book on the Colorado River, said no one should dismiss the gravity of the West’s plight. But neither is it necessarily ruination.

“This whole running-out-of-water thing isn’t really doom,” he said. “When water gets short, farmers get very clever.”

An untamed, flash-flooding home to sturgeon and eels a century ago, much of the Rio Grande today is little more than a magnificently engineered pipe — diverted, straightened, dammed, bled by canals, linked by tunnel to the Colorado River basin in the north, surrendering its last trickle in the south to a ditch that supplies farmers near El Paso. Only miles later do Mexican tributaries renew its journey to the gulf. Its raison d’être is to sustain the booming society along its banks.
At least it is able to reach the Gulf of Mexico, thanks to its Mexican tributaries. Thanks Mexico.

Nothing but trouble

When you let states get involved in areas that they know nothing about and have no business being involved in, such as foreign policy.Over the years, some 20 states, in a fit of me-tooism passed laws of their own to impose state level sanctions on Iran.
In a little known aspect of Iran's international isolation, around two dozen states have enacted measures punishing companies operating in certain sectors of its economy, directing public pension funds with billions of dollars in assets to divest from the firms and sometimes barring them from public contracts.

In more than half those states, the restrictions expire only if Iran is no longer designated to be supporting terrorism or if all U.S. federal sanctions against Iran are lifted - unlikely outcomes even in the case of a final nuclear accord. Two states, Kansas and Mississippi, are even considering new sanctions targeting the country.

The prospect of unwavering sanctions at the state level, or new ones, just as the federal government reaches a landmark agreement with Iran risks widening a divide between states and the federal government on a crucial foreign policy issue.

Though U.S. states have often coordinated their measures with federal sanctions on Iran, their divestment actions sometimes take a tougher line on foreign firms with Iran links than is the case under federal policy.

"Our investment sanctions are not tied in any way to President Obama's negotiations with the Iranians," said Don Gaetz, a Republican Florida state senator who sponsored legislation in 2007 punishing companies with investments in Iran's energy sector.

"They would have to change their behavior dramatically and we would not be necessarily guided by President Obama or any other president's opinion about the Iranians," Gaetz said...

Among around a dozen states contacted directly by Reuters, legislators in Georgia, Florida, and Michigan said they had no intention of changing their Iran policies even in light of a federal deal. State officials in Connecticut and Illinois said new local legislation would be needed to change their divestment policies, even if a deal were signed.

Officials in New York and Oregon told Reuters they would look to changes in law at the federal level in the case of a nuclear deal to determine how it would affect their policies.
And now the Democratic states have to repeal laws and form new policies if an agreement is reached. And Republican states think they have a new way of obstructing the White House.

The right medicine

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