Month: February 2013

Our So Called Press Turned Down Bradley Manning’s Leaks

I am so not shocked.

Bradley Manning just pled guilty on ten counts of misusing classified information, for his release of documents to Wikileaks, though he continues to maintain that he was not aiding the enemy.

What is most interesting that in his statement, Manning said that he want to the New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico, and was blown off:

While he was on leave from Iraq and staying in the Washington area in January 2010 he contacted the Washington Post and asked would it be interested in receiving information that he said would be “enormously important to the American people”. He spoke to a woman who said she was a reporter but “she didn’t seem to take me seriously”.

The woman said, according to Manning’s account, that the paper would only be interested subject to vetting by senior editors.

Despairing of that route, Manning turned to the New York Times. He called the public editor of the paper but only got voicemail.

He then tried other numbers on the paper but also got put through to voicemail, and though he left a message with his Skype contact details, nobody called him back. Manning added he had also contemplated going to the website Politico, but harsh weather prevented him.

What’s more, there is an allegation that The Washington Post had, and sat on, the collateral murder video:

But the WikiLeaks Twitter account (and by the way, mark me down as saying it’s a safe bet that Julian Assange is its primary scribe) also let loose this officious-looking tweet earlier today:

Statement: Washington Post had Collateral murder video for over a year but DID NOT RELEASE IT it to the public.

Curious. I asked Kris Coratti, the Washington Post’s communications director, what was up. She emailed me this flat denial:

The Washington Post did not have the video, nor did we sit on anything.

There is a wrinkle to this tale. David Finkel, a Washington Post reporter, did elaborately describe the events of the day partially captured by the video in “Good Soldiers,” his book published in September 2009, based on his time embedded with an infantry battalion on the ground near the shootings. (WikiLeaks published its version of the video in April 2010.)

So a few years before Wikileaks got it, Finkle was writing descriptions which clearly imply that he had seen the video.

Finkle’s defense is that whatever he had, was just for his book, not the paper:

Finkel gave me a call this morning, ready to add a bit more context.

“The idea that The Washington Post possessed something, or sat on something, is just absurd,” said Finkel.

“I was primarily there as a book author. I was on book leave from The Washington Post,” Finkel told me. “I’m not trying to be oblique here, but that was my role there.”

So, the guy who was, and is, employed the The Washington Post, makes what sounds like direct quotes from the videos, was somehow in Iraq on his own ticket, and had nothing to do with the paper when he saw the videos.

Yeah, right.

For the Times and Politico, it’s pretty clear that Manning did a half-assed job of contacting them, but it’s also pretty clear that WaPo knew of the video for years before it showed up on Wikileaks.

F%$# the F%$#ing Yankees

The New York Yankees are claiming in court that they should hold the trademark on the term evil empire, at least as it applies to baseball:

Fans of the New York Yankees might bristle when they hear their team referred to as the “Evil Empire.” But the team itself doesn’t seem to mind, at least judging from a recent legal dust-up over the phrase.

A panel of trademark judges in Washington, D.C., earlier this month denied a request from a private entrepreneur, known as Evil Enterprises, Inc., to register the trademark for the phrase “Baseballs Evil Empire.”

Evil Enterprises wanted the exclusive right to market merchandise using that phrase, which was coined in regard to the Yankees by Larry Lucchino, the president and chief executive of the Boston Red Sox, back in 2002. Upon learning that the Yankees had signed sought-after Cuban pitcher Jose Contreras, Lucchino was widely reported as saying: “The evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America.”

Evil Enterprises initially applied for a trademark back in July of 2008.

But the Yankees objected, arguing that they had the rights to the phrase—at least when used in connection with baseball.

This is a level of truth telling by the Yankees that rivals that of the satirical publication The Onion.

Scalia: Blacks Only Get to Vote When We Say So

It appears that Antonin “Fat Tony” Scalia thinks that protecting people from having their right to vote stolen is “Racial Entitlement”:

Then, it is reenacted 5 years later, again for a 5-year term. Double-digits against it in the Senate. Then it was reenacted for 7 years. Single digits against it. Then enacted for 25 years, 8 Senate votes against it. And this last enactment, not a single vote in the Senate against it. And the House is pretty much the same. Now, I don’t think that’s attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.

Yes, preventing bad people from violating other people’s right to vote is “racial entitlement.”

What a repulsive bigoted excuse for a human being.

In Death, Robert Bork Admits to Rank Hypocrisy

It turns out that he took a bribe from Richard Nixon to fire Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal:

Robert Bork says President Richard Nixon promised him the next Supreme Court vacancy after Bork complied with Nixon’s order to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1973.

Bork’s recollection of his role in the Saturday Night Massacre that culminated in Cox’s firing is at the center of his slim memoir, “Saving Justice,” that is being published posthumously by Encounter Books. Bork died in December at age 85.

Bork writes that he didn’t know if Nixon actually, though mistakenly, believed he still had the political clout to get someone confirmed to the Supreme Court or was just trying to secure Bork’s continued loyalty as his administration crumbled in the Watergate scandal.

President Ronald Reagan nominated Bork to the high court in 1987. The nomination failed in the Senate.

Robert Bork, in addition to being f%$# nuts, was a corrupt Cox sacker.

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that he die not make it to the Supreme Court.

In Your Face, Wayne LaPierre

There was a primary to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in the Illinois 2nd Congressional district, and it ended up a referendum on gun laws, and the pro-gun control candidate won it in a walk:

Riding a wave of “super PAC” spending that helped catapult her to the front of a crowded Democratic field, Robin Kelly, whose campaign called for tougher national gun laws, clinched her party’s nomination Tuesday in a special primary election for the House seat vacated by Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr.

The outcome of the contest, which had been unexpectedly cast into the center of the national gun debate, was welcome news for Michael R. Bloomberg, the mayor of New York and a staunch gun-control advocate. He poured more than $2.2 million into attacking Ms. Kelly’s chief opponent, Debbie Halvorson, this month.

Flooding Chicago airwaves, Mr. Bloomberg’s super PAC, Independence USA, ran a series of advertisements criticizing Ms. Halvorson for opposing certain gun control measures and endorsing Ms. Kelly as the alternative candidate.


In Illinois’s Second Congressional District, which includes parts of the South Side of Chicago and southern suburban counties, Mr. Bloomberg’s super PAC financed a wave of mailers and television advertisements that criticized Ms. Halvorson, a former House member, for having gotten an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association in earlier elections and for opposing bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips.


Last week, the Illinois State Rifle Association responded to Mr. Bloomberg’s effort by sending out mailers asking its members in the district to vote for Ms. Halvorson on Tuesday. Ms. Halvorson said she had not asked for the endorsement.

She was considered a front-runner after Mr. Jackson resigned in November, just weeks after his re-election. He pleaded guilty last week to one count of fraud for spending campaign money on personal expenses and celebrity memorabilia.


In he victory speech, Ms. Kelly, a former state representative who has worked as a chief of staff for the Illinois state treasurer, told supporters they had sent “a message that tells the N.R.A. that their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end.”

Your mouth to God’s ear, Ms. Kelly.

The Germans Used the Euro to Exported Inflation

Paul Krugman looks at the German economy at the start of the Euro, and compares it to the Spanish economy now, and observes that the Germans painlessly devalued relative to Europe as the Euro created inflation in the periphery:

1. Thanks to the giant housing bubble, Spanish costs got much further out of line than Germany’s ever did, so the required adjustment is much bigger.

2. Germany got to do its adjustment in the face of a relatively strong European economy; Spain is being asked to adjust in the face of a depressed Europe sliding back into recession.

3. In part because of this difference in overall macro conditions, but also because Germany doesn’t have a housing boom and is actually engaging in a bit of austerity on its own, the burden of adjustment this time around is falling much more on deflation by the overvalued country.


You can see just how much harsher Spain’s adjustment is, and how much less help it’s getting from rising wages in the rest of the eurozone. Basically, Germany is refusing to do for Spain what Spain did for Germany in the past.

And the result of all that is incredibly high unemployment.

German banks fueled speculative bubbles in the periphery, which raised costs relative Germany, and so made Germany’s labor markets relatively cheap.

I’m beginning to think that ending the Euro is the only way to save the EU.

Quote of the Day

Even though, as the headline shows, I have little Italian, and less Italian politics, I’m so chuffed that Beppe Grillo did well in yesterday’s Italian elections — even though he was neither a wizened, permanently tanned, and shamelessly unrehabilitated whoremonger nor a Goldman Sachs alumnus (sorry for the redundancy) — that I thought I’d do a wrap-up before conventional wisdom completely congeals. Alert readers will, of course, correct and amplify this post in comments!

—Lambert Strether of Corrente on the recent Italian elections.

(emphasis mine)

Of course, the whoremonger is Berulusconi, and the Goldman Sachs alum is Monti.

The election results were as follows:

Italy’s center-left coalition won the most votes in the parliamentary election, mustering 110,000 more votes than its traditional rival, final data from the Interior Ministry showed early Tuesday.

The victory came thanks to inclusion of the SVP party, a regionalist movement that has long ruled the German-speaking South Tyrol region.

Pier Luigi Bersani’s center-left coalition had 29.54% of the total vote while Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right coalition had 29.18% of the vote.

Under Italy’s electoral law, the winner of the most votes wins 340 of the 630 seats in the lower house, while losers split the rest proportionally.

“It’s too close to call,” said Angelino Alfano, the head of Mr. Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party, signaling he may demand a closer scrutiny of the vote tally.

In fact, Italy’s two main coalitions of the past 20 years together claimed less than half of all eligible votes, and their combined total fell more than 10 million from the last national vote in 2008.

Turnout was the lowest in Italian history at 75%, but the big surprise was Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star Movement, an anti-establishment party born only three years ago, which took 25.55% of the vote. Activists in his party said they had no interest in negotiating “little stitched-up backroom deals.”

Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti’s centrist coalition won 10.56% of the vote as support for the two veteran politicians he chose to ally with collapsed. Gianfranco Fini, once Mr. Berlusconi’s virtual dauphin, won 0.465 of the vote while Pierferdinando Casini’s UDC party, which claims to be the heir of the Christian Democrat party that ruled Italy for decades, won 1.78%, final data showed.

I would disagree with the assessment on Monti’s lack of performance.

This vote, albeit one with low turnout by Italian standards, was about a rejection of austerity and German Hegemony in the EU.

Of course, it did not help that Monti was completely clueless about  how widely loathed the very serious people are loathed: (H/t Paul Krugman)

There was a symbolic moment in the Italian elections when I knew that the game was up for Mario Monti, the defeated prime minister. It was when in the middle of the campaign – in the midst of an anti-establishment insurgence – he took off to Davos to be with his friends from international finance and politics. I know his visit to the elite gathering in the Swiss mountains was not an issue in the campaign, but it signaled to me an almost comic lack of political realism.

(emphasis mine)

Yes, sipping champagne with the rich ratf%$#s who ruined the world economy, and then end up even richer, that’s a productive use of your time.

I’m with Simon Johnson on this:  We need to break the back of the privileged class that broke the world as a first step to fixing the world.

The so-called “Technocrats” like Monti are just water carriers for these folks, and as such, are a part of the problem, not a part of the solution.

What PZ Myers Said

He suggests that the buying spree of hospitals by the Catholic church is a stealth assault on reproductive rights and needs to be stopped:

Imagine if you lived in a town where the only hospital was owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and you were in a car accident — you’ve got a ruptured spleen, you’re bleeding internally, and your life is at risk. The surgeon is going to go in and stitch up and cauterize everything, but you’re warned that they don’t keep any kind of blood supply in the hospital, and they refuse to do blood transfusions — they have an in-house professional ethicist (who is a Jehovah’s Witness, of course) who rejects the morality of exchanging sacred blood, and the administrators have signed an agreement with the church to never, under any circumstances, carry out blood transfusions.

If you need a blood transfusion, they say, don’t worry, the ambulance will take you to a different hospital…50 miles away. You, unfortunately, are in shock, you’ve got a gusher pouring blood into your body cavity, and this is not an option. You get to die.


So why are Catholics allowed to buy up and impose Catholic dogma on hospitals? Is it because their ignorant dogma does the greatest harm to women (especially those slutty ones who have sex) and bizarre rules about reproduction don’t directly harm men?

But Catholics are buying up hospitals all over the country. They’ve got declining attendance, they’re closing churches, they’re having trouble recruiting priests, but they’ve still got buckets of money, and they’re using that money to impose control in another way — by taking over your health care.

His conclusion is 100% spot on:

Don’t let Catholics control your hospitals. Keep the church out of your health care decisions. Make Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) illegal — individuals may follow them at their personal discretion, but no health care facility gets to impose them on their patients, especially when they defy the law.

Your religious freedom does not include the right to impose your views on me.

Sorry, But I Think the Lede Was Buried Here

Yes, the Senate finally got around to voting on, and approval, Hagel, but they bury the part about a Democratic Senator supporting a filibuster of John Brennan as Director of the CIA:

The chances for Mr. Brennan remained good, though his confirmation was not expected to be entirely smooth, as both Republicans and Democrats have raised objections over the agency’s use of drones to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism. Republicans also see the Brennan vote, like the fight over Mr. Hagel, as leverage to press other issues with the White House.

Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said on Tuesday that he favored a longer confirmation process to force the White House to disclose more about the drone program. “There’s an old saw that after somebody is confirmed, they don’t even owe you a holiday card,” he said. “This is the time for vigilant oversight.”

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, has called for similar disclosures on drones and has threatened to use “every procedural option at my disposal” to hold back Mr. Brennan’s nomination.

That’s half way down the New York Times article.

Meanwhile, Tina Brown’s Daily Beast prominently features this on their web site:

If you’ve followed the drawn-out saga surrounding John Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director—with all the questions it has raised about drones and targeting of American citizens—you may have noticed something odd: one of the Senate’s longtime liberals, Ron Wyden of Oregon, has appeared to be very much on the same page as Rand Paul of Kentucky, arguably the most ardent Tea Partier on Capitol Hill.

It turns out this isn’t just a fleeting alliance. For some time now, Wyden and Paul—along with two other senators, Republican Mike Lee of Utah and Democrat Mark Udall of Colorado—have been working together to try to curb the broad authorities the Obama administration has asserted in the war on terror. The advent of this group, which calls itself the Checks and Balances Caucus, is certainly not the first time in political history that the libertarian right has allied with the civil-liberties-minded left. Yet at a moment when inter-party cooperation is almost nonexistent in Washington, any bipartisan alliance—especially one that includes some of DC’s most committed ideological opposites—is both unusual and noteworthy.

I do hope that Wyden has the guts to back up a filibuster by Paul, because the administration needs to be forced to be more open about these policies and their legal justifications.

As God as My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly

So not the f%$#ing Onion, but they are dosing mice with Tylenol and dropping them from helicopters on Guam:

Something about this just does not sound like a good idea. In the coming months, toxic mice will rain down on the jungles in Guam. They are the solution to the intrusion of the brown tree snake which has wiped out much of Guam’s native bird species after first arriving on the island in U.S. naval ships after World War II. With an estimated 2 million of the snakes on the island, the military has decided to carpet bomb the island with dead mice laced with lethal painkillers. Italy carpet bombed one its islands with poison to combat a similar rat problem. The brown tree snakes have been cutting power lines and even biting residents. However, there is the obvious problem of other animals eating the mice. To reduce this problem, the scientists have developed a flotation device with streamers designed to catch in the branches of the forest foliage, where the snakes live and feed. Yet, if anything goes wrong, we have replaced a brown tree snake problem with an army of airborne paratrooping zombie toxic mice with addiction problems.

What the hell?

Seriously, someone has jumped the f%$#ing shark!

Obamacare Fail

Employers are required to cover children, but not spouses, and they are looking at canceling coverage on spouses to save money:

By denying coverage to spouses, employers not only save the annual premiums, but also the new fees that went into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act. This year, companies have to pay $1 or $2 “per life” covered on their plans, a sum that jumps to $65 in 2014. And health law guidelines proposed recently mandate coverage of employees’ dependent children (up to age 26), but husbands and wives are optional. “The question about whether it’s obligatory to cover the family of the employee is being thought through more than ever before,” says Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health.

While surcharges for spousal coverage are more common, last year, 6% of large employers excluded spouses, up from 5% in 2010, as did 4% of huge companies with at least 20,000 employees, twice as many as in 2010, according to human resources firm Mercer. These “spousal carve-outs,” or “working spouse provisions,” generally prohibit only people who could get coverage through their own job from enrolling in their spouse’s plan.

Such exclusions barely existed three years ago, but experts expect an increasing number of employers to adopt them: “That’s the next step,” Darling says. HMS, a company that audits plans for employers, estimates that nearly a third of companies might have such policies now. Holdouts say they feel under pressure to follow suit. “We’re the last domino,” says Duke Bennett, mayor of Terre Haute, Ind., which is instituting a spousal carve-out for the city’s health plan, effective July 2013, after nearly all major employers in the area dropped spouses.

But when employers drop spouses, they often lose more than just the one individual, when couples choose instead to seek coverage together under the other partner’s employer. Terre Haute, which pays $6 million annually to insure nearly 1,200 people including employees and their family members, received more than 20 new plan members when a local university, bank and county government stopped insuring spouses, according to Bennett. “We have a great plan, so they want to be on ours. All we’re trying to do is level the playing field here,” he says.

It’s a race to the bottom. Whee!

This was foreseeable.  

Adverse selection/the race to the bottom are the most salient feature of our current healthcare clusterf%$#.  To assume that insurance providers would not avail themselves of every opportunity to benefit from this is policy malpractice.

But Of Course

The National Futures Association, the organization responsible for “self-regulating” the industry, wanted to ban Jon Corzine from the group for life.

They had a problem though, it turns out that the former head of the non-bankrupt MF Global was not a member:

The comedian vowed to avoid “any club that would accept me as one of its members.” Mr. Corzine, the former Democratic senator who ran MF Global until it collapsed in 2011, faced expulsion from a group to which he did not even belong.

The National Futures Association, the futures industry’s self-regulatory group, convened on Thursday to consider a lifetime ban of Mr. Corzine. Two of the group’s newest board members championed the plan as retribution for Mr. Corzine’s role in the demise of MF Global, which improperly took $1.6 billion from its customers before filing for bankruptcy.

If a majority of the board members voted yes, the group would have moved to hold a hearing over Mr. Corzine’s status before enacting the ban.

But when the board emerged from its meeting late on Thursday, the group issued a cryptic statement suggesting that Mr. Corzine could not be so easily ostracized because of, well, a small flaw in the plan: “Mr. Corzine is not currently a member of N.F.A.,” the board’s chairman declared in the statement.


His plan to expel Mr. Corzine grew from mounting frustration over the slowly developing federal investigation into MF Global. After more than a year of investigating Mr. Corzine, regulators and criminal investigators have not filed any charges, feeding concerns that Mr. Corzine will escape unscathed.

Of course, he’s going to emerge unscathed.

Silly rabbit, consequences are for little people.

Tell Me That This Is Not a Bribe

Jack Lew, Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, appears to have a deal with his current employer, Citigroup, that looks an awful lot like a bribe:

Jack Lew is the nominee for Treasury secretary whose own bonus as an investment banker was bailed out by the Treasury Department when it rescued Citigroup Inc. (C) in 2008. He owes much to America’s taxpayers. He should also be grateful to Citigroup for agreeing to let him rejoin the government without suffering much for it financially.

An intriguing revelation from Lew’s Senate confirmation hearing last week was that he stood to be paid handsomely by Citigroup if he left the company for a top U.S. government job, under his 2006 employment agreement with the bank. The wording of the pay provisions made it seem, at least to me, as if Citigroup might have agreed to pay Lew some sort of a bounty to seek out, and be appointed to, such a position.


Lew’s employment agreement with Citigroup said his “guaranteed incentive and retention award” wouldn’t be paid if he quit his job, with limited exceptions. One was if he left Citigroup “as a result of your acceptance of a full-time high level position with the United States government or regulatory body.” This applied if he left “prior to the payment of any incentive and retention award for performance year 2008 or thereafter.” Such an award wasn’t guaranteed but would be consistent with the company’s practice, the document said.

A similar provision concerned his stock-based compensation. If Lew left in 2008 or afterward to accept a high-level U.S. government position, all of his outstanding equity awards, including restricted stock, would vest immediately, the document said. Alternatively, Citigroup had the option of paying Lew the cash equivalent of any shares he forfeited upon leaving. The terms didn’t mention other kinds of public-service work, such as a midlevel U.S. government job, a position in municipal or state government, or working at a nonprofit organization such as a university.

The payoff here is very clear: You go and work for the government, and you are our boy, bought and paid for.

First, the Cayman Islands accounts, and now this.

This guy is going to be an even bigger creature of the Wall Street banksters than than Geithner was.

This is deeply corrupt, in reality if not by law, but I think that the Obama administration sees this as a feature, not a bug.

To Be Fair, You Cannot Say this in The New York Times

Krugman talks about Monti and his catastrophic embrace of austerity when he was installed by the European Union.

What I want to point out is this rather interesting paragraph buried toward the end of his OP/ED

For Mr. Monti was, in effect, the proconsul installed by Germany to enforce fiscal austerity on an already ailing economy; willingness to pursue austerity without limit is what defines respectability in European policy circles. This would be fine if austerity policies actually worked — but they don’t. And far from seeming either mature or realistic, the advocates of austerity are sounding increasingly petulant and delusional.

(emphasis mine)

It’s an odd turn of phrase, “The proconsul installed by Germany,” and I’m wondering if he is making an oblique reference to Vidkun Quisling.

Of course, were he to make a direct reference to the infamous Norwegian collaborator in the pages of The Times, at least in the terms of current policy and politics, he would not be in the pages of The Times for much longer.

Why the Mathematics of Finance are Crap

I will give you this (admittedly old) example from Global Economic Intersection, which explains in very simple terms, how much of finance is much closer to a confidence scheme that we would like to imagine:

“If Timmy brings 100 marbles to school and lends them to his classmates at 5% interest for the day, and the classmates diligently work to trade and earn and win enough marbles to pay their debts, how many marbles will Timmy collect at the end of the day?”

The banker will promise a 5% return, and my guess is that a lot of you thought the same thing.

Only it’s not true.

Most of the pupils are of the linear thinking neoclassical persuasion steeped from the cradle in “banker arithmetic”, so they sharpen their pencils and calculate that Timmy will receive 105 marbles in total principal + interest. “Profit drives the marble economy”, Teacher correctly explains, “which is why the classmates were all so busily engaged working for marbles.” And the pupils agreed it would be great fun participating in a marble economy where you could exercise your talents to get out more than you put in.

But little Warren had failed to cram his head into the neoclassical pencil sharpening box where you learn banker arithmetic and he exclaims, “But there ARE only 100 marbles, so unless Teacher adds marbles into the room, Timmy can only get back as many marbles as he put in. So the correct answer is Timmy will get back 100 marbles and some of his classmates will default on their debts and suffer a life of stupid unemployed poverty because Teacher says “We must live within our means.” and she refuses to add the needed marbles even though she owns the marble factory that produces unlimited marbles at virtually no cost.”

Yes, his is a metaphor for the Euro Zone, and the Austrian school ratf$#@s who make up the Bundesbank.

Read the rest.

Boeing 787 Faces More Battery Problems

Bummer of a birth mark, Boeing

They have found swelling in another 787 battery:

Cells in a second lithium-ion battery on a Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner forced to make an emergency landing in Japan last month showed slight swelling, a Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) official said on Tuesday.

The jet, flown by All Nippon Airways Co, was forced to make the landing after its main battery failed.

“I do not know the exact discussion taken by the research group on the ground, but I heard that it is a slight swelling (in the auxiliary power unit battery cells). I have so far not heard that there was internal damage,” Masahiro Kudo, a senior accident investigator at the JTSB said in a briefing in Tokyo.

Kudo said that two out of eight cells in the second battery unit showed some bumps and the JTSB would continue to investigate to determine whether this was irregular or not.

Ummmm….I spent a few months working for a battery manufacturer. This is not a good sign.

Boeing purchasing McDonnell Douglas, and deciding to let McDonnell Douglas’s failed management then take over the firm is bearing bitter fruit.

Academe Would Be So Much Better if This Were True

FAQ: The “Snake Fight” Portion Of Your Thesis Defense

A sample:

Q: What does it mean if I get a small snake that is also very strong?

A: Snake-picking is not an exact science. The size of the snake is the main factor. The snake may be very strong, or it may be very weak. It may be of Asian, African, or South American origin. It may constrict its victims and then swallow them whole, or it may use venom to blind and/or paralyze its prey. You shouldn’t read too much into these other characteristics. Although if you get a poisonous snake, it often means that there was a problem with the formatting of your bibliography.

Go read.

H/t Lindsay Beyerstein.