Paul Krugman: Macrohypocrisy (NY Times Blog)
Paul Waldman has a righteous rant on Congressional Republicans, who posed as the hawkiest of deficit hawks as long as a Democrat was in the White House, but are now fine with huge debt increases under Trump. But really, is anyone except the fiscal scolds surprised? The fraudulence and flim-flam of GOP deficit poseurs was obvious all along.
Marc Dion: No Socks, No Class (Creators Syndicate)
Joseph "Joey No Socks" Cinque is at best a lower-level mob associate, although someone thought he was important enough to shoot in 1980. And, of course, Joey No Socks was invited to Embarrassment-Elect Donald Trump's New Year's Eve party.
Connie Schultz: Here We Are, on the Brink of What Comes Next (Creators Syndicate)
For 45 minutes on Christmas Eve, I watched love, in all of its diversity, play out in front of me. Thanks, 2016. I needed that.
Connie Schultz: We Are Not the Enemy (Creators Syndicate)
On the last day of December, this was Donald Trump's greeting for America - via Twitter, of course: "Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!" My immediate response to this infantile tweet from the future president of the United States was to donate to a diaper charity. See? I do know what to do.
Mark Shields: For Republicans, the Year of Living Nervously (Creators Syndicate)
For nervous Republicans, this means that President Trump, when the going gets rough, will have no cushion of public support to buoy him, and for GOP officeholders, Trump's coattails could turn out to be a tank top.
Lenore Skenazy: A Breakthrough About Breakthroughs (Creators Syndicate)
So how can we know which [medical/nutritional] headlines to trust and which to ignore? Here is Kabat's rule of thumb - a wise one: "The more dramatic the result the less likely it is to be true."
Clive James: 'I hanker for a time when everybody was given a job description by everybody else' (The Guardian)
It would be handy if we all spoke a language sufficiently stuffed with honorific tags and phrases that we all knew where we stood.
Hadley Freeman: It's two weeks till Trump takes office. Time for a plan to improve 2017 (The Guardian)
1. Honestly, I don't understand why Twitter hasn't deleted Trump's account. He's retweeted antisemitic memes, engaged in targeted harassment and generally behaved like - let's just say it - a massive troll.
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
Now I know what to call him!
It's the perfect name for him! Thanks to friend Janet in Texas for sharing it.
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
NOTHING AINT WORTH NOTHING BUT IT'S FREE!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Clouds rolling in - more rain on the way.
Wildlife officials say it might be time for a toast now that a once-rare bat important to the pollination of plants used to produce tequila is making a comeback.
Federal officials said it has taken 30 years of conservation efforts by biologists and volunteers in Mexico and the U.S. as well as tequila producers in Mexico to rebuild a healthy population.
There were once thought to be fewer than 1,000 lesser long-nosed bats in 14 known roosts throughout the region. Now, there are about 200,000 of the nectar-feeding animals and dozens of roost sites.
The flying mammal ranges from Mexico to southern Arizona and New Mexico. It depends on the nectar of agaves, cactuses and other flowering plants in the desert region.
In Mexico, tequila producers who rely on agaves are integrating more harvest and cultivation practices in recognition that the bats are key pollinators. Some are even marketing "bat-friendly tequila."
The court handling the estate of Prince made public a detailed inventory of the late singer's assets, though much of it is still being evaluated.
Bremer Trust, which has been placed in control of Prince's estate, reported that the "Purple Rain" singer's Minnesota real estate properties are worth $25,431,900.
At the time of his death, he also had $110,080.51 in the bank accounts, mortgages, contracts for deed, notes and cash category, and $836,166.70 worth of gold bars.
According to the inventory list, which was obtained by ABC News, at the time of his death, Prince owned at least 18 vehicles, including a 2006 Bentley, a 1985 Cadillac limo and a "Purple Rain" motorcycle, though title confirmation is in process for all. He also owns a pages-long music catalog, which includes his hits "When Doves Cry," "Kiss," "Let's Go Crazy" and "Purple Rain," among many others.
Geographer Pinpoints Center
The town of Center, North Dakota, is taking center stage, thanks to a geographer who has figured out that it's in the dead center of North America.
The finding lays to rest the decades-old question on the location of the continent's bull's-eye. It's a question that has long eluded scientists - in a 1964 report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), for instance, experts wrote: "There is no generally accepted definition of geographic center [of any geographic area], and no completely satisfactory method for determining it."
Not much progress has been made since then, although the USGS has certainly tried. In 1931, the USGS called a spot near the town of Rugby, North Dakota (population 2,900), the geographic center of North America, only to update it in 1995 to a small body of water about 20 miles (32 kilometers) to the southwest of the town, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Understandably, the question is a difficult one. Researchers have debated whether the center of the continent should factor in North America's islands, and how to account for the constantly changing shorelines.
Recreated in Virtual Reality
'Plain of Jars'
Archaeologists have recreated an ancient burial site in virtual reality, to help them study hard-to-access locations at the so-called Plain of Jars site in Laos and the millennia-old relics it contains.
The researchers will also use virtual reality to study other archaeological sites at the Plain of Jars, many of them located where undetonated American bombs left over from the Vietnam War make it too dangerous to dig.
The virtual-reality project combines aerial video captured by a drone with geophysical data and records of archaeological excavations at "Site 1" on the Plain of Jars, near the town of Phonsavan in central Laos. It aims to create a virtual record of the unique landscape and its hundreds of carved stone jars, some of which measure up to 11 feet (3 meters) tall and weigh many tons, say the researchers.
The images and data have been integrated into a 3D video and data simulation at a room-sized, 360-degree virtual-reality facility at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Named Cave2, the facility is being developed for advanced "immersive visualization" applications in medicine, science and engineering.
'Plain of Jars'
Armed Neo-Nazi March Planned
An armed Neo-Nazi march is slated to take place in Montana on Jan. 16 to harass a Jewish community, where a Hamas representative is confirmed to give a speech about the "international threat of Jews."
Coinciding with Martin Luther King Day, the march will take place in the upscale ski resort town of Whitefish, a part-time home to National Policy Institute president and white supremacist leader Richard Spencer and his mother. In recent months, Spencer, 38, has gained attention for leading what appeared to be a Nazi salute at a rally following the victory of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the November election.
The Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi website, posted Thursday that nationalist groups from around the world will be in attendance, including "a representative of Hamas" who will give a speech.
The march was arranged after claims that realtor Tanya Gersh threatened Spencer's mother's business. In response, The Daily Stormer's editor, Andrew Anglin, filed an application for the march and that it was initially planned "to march to Tanya Gersh's home, but decided it would be too cold."
Instead, the march will go through the town's center and end at a memorial park where the speakers will present speeches, although Jewish-American newspaper Forward reported that Whitefish officials said the application did not include all necessary components needed to approve the march.
State Tabloid Scolds NYT
An influential Chinese state-run tabloid has chided the New York Times over its reporting practices after Apple Inc removed the newspaper's app from its China app store at the request of the Chinese government.
The Global Times editorial, released on Friday, said the New York Times had in the past four years been "trying to wield influence in China's internal affairs" by doing investigative stories on sensitive subjects. It did not give specific examples.
Apple removed the newspaper's English and Chinese-language apps on Dec. 23, citing requests from authorities.
The Global Times said Apple "cares most about business, so it is willing to respect Chinese laws", adding that Apple faced tough competition from local brands in Greater China.
The New York Times pointed to a recent investigative report on government subsidies offered to Apple supplier Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precison Industry Co, as a possible reason for the ban.
Republican lawmakers in Kentucky passed a bill on Saturday making it the 27th U.S. state to allow workers the right to work in union-represented shops and receive union-negotiated benefits without paying dues to the representing body.
Republican lawmakers in a handful of states have passed similar so called "right-to-work" and anti-union laws in recent years. Supporters say the measures spur economic growth while opponents cast the laws as assaults on organized labor and blue-collar workers that limit union revenues.
The effort to pass the legislation in Kentucky came two months after Republicans won control of the state's General Assembly for the first time since 1921. Republicans now control both chambers in the state's legislature and the governor's office.
It is widely expected that Republican Governor Matt Bevin will sign the bill into law in the coming days. If so, Kentucky will immediately become the 27th state and last Southern state to enact "right-to-work" legislation.
3,000-Year-Old City Wrecked
The giant winged bulls that once stood sentry at the nearly 3,000-year-old palace at Nimrud have been hacked to pieces. The fantastical human-headed creatures were believed to guard the king from evil, but now their stone remains are piled in the dirt, victims of the Islamic State group's fervor to erase history.
The militants' fanaticism devastated one of the most important archaeological sites in the Middle East. But more than a month after the militants were driven out, Nimrud is still being ravaged, its treasures disappearing, piece by piece, imperiling any chance of eventually rebuilding it, an Associated Press team found after multiple visits last month.
With the government and military still absorbed in fighting the war against the Islamic State group in the nearby city of Mosul, the wreckage of the Assyrian Empire's ancient capital lies unprotected and vulnerable to looters.
No one is assigned to guard the sprawling site, much less catalog the fragments of ancient reliefs, chunks of cuneiform texts, pieces of statues and other rubble after IS blew up nearly every structure there. Toppled stone slabs bearing a relief from the palace wall that the AP saw on one visit were gone when journalists returned.
Perhaps the only vigilant guardian left for the ruins is an Iraqi archaeologist, Layla Salih. She has visited it multiple times in recent weeks, photographing the destruction to document it and badgering nearby militias to take care of it. Walking with the AP across the broad dirt expanse of the ruin, she was calm, methodical and precise as she pointed out things she'd seen on previous visits that were no longer in place.
Sunken WWII Bomb Found
Residents of Germany's financial capital, Frankfurt, will have to do without their Sunday stroll or jog along the river while explosives experts recover and defuse an aerial bomb from World War II.
Police said rescue divers found the 50-kilogram (110-pound) bomb in the Main River on Tuesday during a training exercise near the city's art museum and scenic Holbeinsteg pedestrian bridge. The bridge was closed Friday, as was the bike path along the south side of the river.
Some 900 people on both sides will have to leave their homes by 9:30 a.m. local time Sunday until the defusing work is completed.
Police were stuffing evacuation notices in mailboxes Friday, while the fire department was compiling a list of people with limited mobility who would need help to move out temporarily. A school gymnasium and union hall are to be opened as temporary shelters for those who need them.
Francine York, the statuesque actress who showed off her sexuality as The Bookworm's moll on Batman and in such films as It's Only Money, Cannon for Cordoba and The Doll Squad, has died. She was 80.
A native of Aurora, Minn., York appeared in scores of TV shows, from Rescue 8 in 1959 to The Mindy Project in 2015. She played a seductive Venus de Milo on an episode of Bewitched, a bake-off contestant on The Odd Couple and an ex-prostitute/blackmailer on Days of Our Lives. She also appeared in five different roles on Burke's Law, a series renown for featuring gorgeous guest-stars.
York was memorable as the willowy Lydia Limpet, the henchwoman of The Bookworm (Roddy McDowall), in a first-season installment of ABC's Batman in 1966. She uses a boring book to lure Robin to sleep and gets to ride in the Batmobile.
She played a sexpot for Jerry Lewis in It's Only Money (1962), and in Cannon for Cordoba (1970), starring George Peppard, she did a nude scene and a belly dance. The Doll Squad (1973) saw her fronting a team of gorgeous female assassins aiming to stop a megalomaniac (Michael Ansara) from destroying the world. Many see that movie as the precursor to Charlie's Angels.
York's other notable film appearances include Bedtime Story (1964), opposite Marlon Brando and David Niven, and Elvis Presley's Tickle Me (1965). She turned in a well-received performance as Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn: Alive and Behind Bars (1992) and played Nicolas Cage's mother-in-law in The Family Man (2000).
In 1961, York portrayed a princess opposite her childhood idol Shirley Temple in Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid for the NBC kids anthology series Shirley Temple's Storybook.
York was working as a showgirl at the popular Moulin Rouge nightclub on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood when she decided to purse acting. She studied under Jeff Corey and Jack Kosslyn and spotted by a producer who cast her as a duplicitous magazine editor in her film debut, Secret File: Hollywood (1962).
York attracted the attention of Lewis, who put her in It's Only Money (1962) and then in small roles in his films The Nutty Professor (1963), The Disorderly Orderly (1964), The Family Jewels (1965) and Cracking Up (1983), in which she played a 15th century noblewoman.
Her film résumé also includes the 1965 sci-fi releases Mutiny From Outer Space and, playing the world's first female astronaut, Space Probe Taurus.
She played Richard Crenna's secretary on the second season of the CBS dramatic anthology series Slattery's People in 1965, and she also appeared on TV in Route 66, 77 Sunset Strip, My Favorite Martian, Death Valley Days, Perry Mason, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Lost in Space, Green Acres, The Wild, Wild West, Ironside, I Dream of Jeannie, Love, American Style, Mannix, Mission: Impossible, Kojak, Columbo, Matlock, The King of Queens and Hot in Cleveland.
York also was known as a gourmet cook and fitness and nutrition expert who hosted lavish parties in Hollywood. She was the decade-long companion of director Vincent Sherman (The Young Philadelphians) until his death in 2006.
Never married, she is survived by her nieces Delinda, Gina and Ava and nephew Dominic; grandnieces Ashley, Candice, Holly, Daliss and Isabella Negrete; and grandnephew Franklin.